Court backs Uniloc in case against Microsoft

January 5, 2011

(AP) -- A federal appeals court reinstated a 2009 jury verdict Tuesday that Microsoft Corp. infringed on patents held by software maker Uniloc Inc., reversing a judge's decision to the contrary, but it also granted Microsoft a new trial on damages.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the jury's April 2009 verdict on patent infringement was supported by "substantial" evidence, so it reversed a federal judge's decision in September of that year that overturned the jury's verdict.

Irvine, Calif.-based Uniloc makes software that prevents people from illegally installing software on multiple computers. In a lawsuit filed in 2003, Uniloc argued that 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 had copied Uniloc's technology rather than develop similar work on its own.

The jury in 2009 had found this to be the case, and awarded Uniloc $388 million in damages. On Tuesday, the appeals court agreed on the but called the jury's damages award "fundamentally tainted," and granted a new trial on the damages.

In a statement, Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel David Howard called the ruling an "an important and helpful opinion with respect to the law of damages, and it may signal the end of unreasonable and outsized damages awards based on faulty methodology."

"We look forward to the new trial," he added.

Paul Hayes, trial counsel for Uniloc in the case, said he is "ecstatic" over the outcome and expects a new trial within a year, with the same or greater amount of damages awarded.

Shares of Redmond, Wash.-based rose 8 cents to $28.06 in afternoon trading.

Explore further: Microsoft ordered to pay $388 mln in patent case

0 shares

Related Stories

Microsoft ordered to pay $388 mln in patent case

April 9, 2009

A federal jury ordered US software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 388 million dollars to Uniloc for infringing on an anti-piracy software patent held by the Singapore- and US-based company.

Verdict spares Microsoft $358M in patent damages

September 11, 2009

(AP) -- A federal appeals court said Friday that Microsoft Corp. does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent $358 million for patent infringement because of problems with how the damages were calculated.

Patent infringement verdict restored against Microsoft

January 5, 2011

A US appeals court restored a verdict that found Microsoft infringed on a patent for an anti-piracy technology owned by a competitor, Uniloc USA. But the court did not reaffirm a 388-million-dollar jury award.

Recommended for you

Apple issues update after cyber weapon captured

August 26, 2016

Apple iPhone owners on Friday were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers.

Sponge creates steam using ambient sunlight

August 22, 2016

How do you boil water? Eschewing the traditional kettle and flame, MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that soaks up natural sunlight and heats water to boiling temperatures, generating steam ...

Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing

August 25, 2016

New 3D printing technology unveiled this week sharply increases the size of objects that can be produced, offering new possibilities to remake manufacturing in the auto, aerospace and other major industries.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.