Microsoft ordered to pay $200 mln in patent case

May 20, 2009
A Microsoft booth at a technology fair. A jury in the US state of Texas ordered US computer software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 200 million dollars to a Canadian company for patent infringement.

A jury in the US state of Texas ordered US computer software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 200 million dollars to a Canadian company for patent infringement.

"We're very pleased," said Karen Heater, president of Toronto-based i4i, which had accused Microsoft of violating a patent held by her company in its Word processing programs.

"The jury heard extensive testimony, extensive evidence and they concluded -- as we expected they would -- that Microsoft indeed infringed," she told AFP. "It's been a long, drawn out process and we fell quite vindicated."

Microsoft said it planned to appeal the verdict handed down by the jury in a US District Court in Tyler, Texas.

"We are disappointed by the jury?s verdict," said David Bowermaster, a Microsoft spokesman.

"We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid," he said. "We believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict."

Microsoft was accused by i4i of infringing on its patents in its Word 2003 and Word 2007 programs.

A federal jury last month ordered to pay 388 million dollars to another company, Uniloc, for infringing on an anti-piracy held by the Singapore- and US-based firm.

(c) 2009 AFP

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docknowledge
3 / 5 (2) May 21, 2009
What a pointless game: Microsoft steals. Someone with a lot of money attempts to recover. They get a favorable verdict. Microsoft appeals. More years drag by. In the meantime, all the little Microbots are earning a comfortable salary, and the people they've stolen from are that much poorer. How about putting a few smart asses in Redmond and Bellvue out of their expensive houses? How about some personal responsibility, instead of high-level games that allow individuals to make dishonest decisions?
PPihkala
1 / 5 (1) May 21, 2009
I have another solution: Order Microsoft to recall the software and stop selling until they have non-infringing product. Or alternatively make them pay say 25% of their profit from those infringing software to the patent owner.
O2L
not rated yet May 22, 2009
I agree with PPihkala that they should be told to halt the production and selling of the product untill a final verdict is reached