Microsoft escapes pricey patent scrap unscathed
Thursday 01 October 2009
A federal judge threw out a $388 million (£242 million)patent infringement jury verdict against Microsoft, ending a six-year legal skirmish.
In April, a jury found that the world's largest software maker had infringed on a patent owned by Uniloc.
Irvine, California-based Uniloc makes software that prevents people from illegally installing software on multiple computers.
Uniloc had argued Microsoft's "product activation" system used in Windows XP, Office XP and Office 2003 programs infringed on several parts of a related patent, and that the software maker had copied Uniloc's technology rather than developed similar work on its own.
Uniloc's original lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Rhode Island in 2003. Microsoft won summary judgement in 2007, and Uniloc appealed.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sent a much narrower version of the case back to district court, which ruled in Uniloc's favour earlier this year. Microsoft asked the judge to reconsider.
US District Judge William Smith in Rhode Island dismissed the jury verdict in a decision made public late Tuesday.
"The Court has reviewed the transcripts and evidence with painstaking detail in the light most favourable to Uniloc, careful not to act as the eleventh juror. What remains is a firm belief (indeed a certitude) that the jury 'lacked a grasp of the issues before it' and reached a finding without a legally sufficient basis," Smith wrote, finding once again that Microsoft did not infringe on the patent.
Smith also said the jury's method of deciding how much Microsoft owed Uniloc, based on total sales of Windows XP and Office, was flawed.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, said in a statement that is pleased with the outcome. Lawyers for Uniloc did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Life & Style blogs
Surgeon backs 'good death' plans - and reveals his own
NHS hit by stealth cuts of £2bn as tariffs received for medical procedures are reduced
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...