Microsoft has 388 million dollar patent case overturned

After being ordered by a US court to pay a record-breaking 388 million dollars in compensation to Uniloc for infringing on a patent held by the software firm last April, Microsoft has had the decision overturned on appeal.


AFP  - A US judge has ruled that Microsoft does not have to pay a record-setting 388 million dollars in damages, saying a jury came to the wrong decision in the patent case.

District Court Judge William Smith nullified the jury verdict on Tuesday in a ruling that said Microsoft did not infringe on the Uniloc technology at issue and that the damage award was based on misleading evidence presented at trial.

"There is serious error in the verdict for many reasons," Smith wrote in a 66-page ruling detailing the reasoning behind his decision to vacate a jury verdict handed down in April.

While Microsoft praised the decision by the Rhode Island-based judge, Uniloc vowed to convince the US Court of Appeals to reinstate the jury verdict.

"We are disappointed by the decision the trial judge has made to overturn the jury's unanimous verdict," Uniloc said in response to an AFP inquiry.

"We believe that the jury's verdict in April was thoughtful, well reasoned and supported by the evidence presented. We are confident that Uniloc will ultimately prevail."

Uniloc USA, Inc. and Uniloc Singapore Private Ltd filed suit in September 2003 accusing Microsoft of infringing on patented technology for curbing unauthorized copying of licensed software.

The suit charged that Microsoft used the technology in Windows XP, Office XP, and Windows Server 2003 software.

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