Microsoft ordered to pay $388 mln in patent case

April 9, 2009
Visitors walk past the stand of US software giant Microsoft at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT, in Hanover, in March 2009. A federal jury ordered US computer software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 388 million dollars to Uniloc for infringing on an anti-piracy software patent held by the company.

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.

The award was made by a jury hearing the case in a district in the US state of Rhode Island.

The jury ordered Redmond, Washington-based to compensate Uniloc, which has its US headquarters in Irvine, California, for infringing on a for a security algorithm held by Uniloc.

The complaint against Microsoft was filed by Uniloc Singapore Private Ltd and Uniloc USA Inc. in October 2003.

Uniloc had accused Microsoft of infringing on its patent in its Windows operating systems, which power most of the world's personal computers, and in Office programs.

Microsoft said it would seek to have the verdict overturned.

"We are very disappointed in the jury verdict," said David Bowermaster, a Microsoft spokesman.

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

Microsoft had previously won the case but Uniloc convinced an appeals court to overturn the judge's ruling, arguing that the case was influenced by the testimony of an expert witness who had conflicts of interest.

Microsoft shares lost 0.16 percent in after-hours trading to 19.16 dollars after rising 2.29 percent on Wall Street on Wednesday.

(c) 2009 AFP

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