RI judge tosses patent verdict against Microsoft

Sep 30, 2009 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- A federal judge in Rhode Island threw out a $388 million patent infringement jury verdict against Microsoft Corp., the latest move in a six-year legal skirmish.

In April, a jury found that the world's largest maker had infringed on a patent owned by Uniloc Inc.

Irvine, Calif.-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 U.S. District Court in Rhode Island in 2003. Microsoft won summary judgment in 2007, and Uniloc appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sent a much narrower version of the case back to district court, which ruled in Uniloc's favor earlier this year. Microsoft asked the judge to reconsider.

U.S. District Judge William Smith 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 favorable 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.

Uniloc said it plans to appeal the judge's latest decision.

"We believe that the jury's verdict in April was thoughtful, well reasoned and supported by the evidence presented," said Brad Davis, Uniloc's CEO, in a statement.

, based in Redmond, Wash., said in a statement that is pleased with the outcome.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Thanksgiving travel woes? There's an app for that

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft ordered to pay $388 mln in patent case

Apr 09, 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

Sep 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.

Microsoft asks court to hold off on Word ban

Aug 19, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to allow it to keep selling Word software as it fights an unfavorable patent ruling.

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 04, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

15 hours ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

20 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

After a data breach, it's consumers left holding the bag

21 hours ago

Shoppers have launched into the holiday buying season and retailers are looking forward to year-end sales that make up almost 20% of their annual receipts. But as you check out at a store or click "purchase" on your online shopping cart ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

21 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Brain inspired data engineering

22 hours ago

What if next-generation ICT systems could be based on the brain's structure and its cognitive and adaptive processes? A groundbreaking paradigm of brain-inspired intelligent ICT architectures is being born.

User comments : 0

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.