Microsoft loses patent case, ordered to pay $388 million

Posted by Rick C. Hodgin

Rochester (RI) - A security software company called Uniloc has defeated Goliath in open court. Microsoft was ordered by a jury to pay $388 million in damages for infringing on an anti-piracy patent held by Uniloc. Microsoft said they will appeal the verdict.





A spokesman for Microsoft, David Bowermaster, said, "We are very disappointed in the jury verdict. We believe that we do not infringe, that the patent is invalid and that this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported. We will ask the court to overturn the verdict."



The case was originally filed in October, 2003. It has endured because Microsoft had previously won the case, with Uniloc appealing their losing verdict on the argument that a key expert witness used by Microsoft had a conflict of interest in giving his testimony. The appeal was granted and Uniloc won this second trial in court by a jury verdict.



Microsoft's share prices (MSFT) were down slightly in after hours trading on the news, currently at $19.19.

Microsoft had previously won a separate court victory when a judge denied class-action status against Microsoft for alleged mishandling of Vista Capable labels on new computers sold prior to Vista's release. The suit alleged that Vista Capable did not mean the machine could run all versions of Vista, but only the lowest-end varieties. Following that ruling, only individuals can pursue legal cases against Microsoft on that matter.

Another recent Vista-related lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft for price-gouging in the downgrade-to-XP option available at some major retailers, like Dell and HP.



See the original Reuters article republished on Yahoo News.