Microsoft Wins Appeal in Uniloc Patent Case
Microsoft won its appeal in a patent-infringement case leveled against it by software company Uniloc, which originally won a $388 million judgment against Redmond. The victory represents a bright spot of news for Microsoft on the legal front, where it continues to battle Canadian company i4i in a patent-infringement suit related to Microsoft Word.Microsoft received one favorable bit of legal news on Sept. 28, when a federal judge ruled that the company did not infringe on a patent held by software company Uniloc. A previous decision in the case had leveled $388 million in damages against Microsoft. "We are pleased that the court has vacated the jury verdict and entered judgment in favor of Microsoft," Kevin Kutz, a Microsoft spokesperson, told Reuters.
The original lawsuit, filed in September 2003, argued that Microsoft's anti-piracy registration system for Windows XP and parts of Office violated Uniloc's patent for product activation. In 2006, U.S. District Judge William Smith issued a judgment in favor of Microsoft, which Uniloc appealed. According to court documents, Smith initially indicated that he would "appoint an independent expert or special master to assist in deciding the motions given the complicated subject matter," but instead hired an "evening law student who was finishing his Ph.D. in computer science" to review the case. Furthermore, Uniloc claimed, "the intern had numerous ties to Microsoft."