Microsoft gets big patent verdict overturned

A district court vacates an April ruling that would have had Microsoft being forced to pay $388 million in a patent infringement case.

A federal court on Tuesday reversed an earlier ruling that Microsoft's product activation technology infringed on another company's patent, overturning a $388 million verdict in the case.

In a ruling on Tuesday, the court vacated the earlier decision and decided the case in Microsoft's favor.

"We are pleased that the court has vacated the jury verdict and entered judgment in favor of Microsoft," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement.

Tuesday's ruling is the latest twist in a case that has had plenty of them. Microsoft initially won a summary judgment ruling, which would have ended the case in its favor, but Uniloc appealed that ruling and a federal appeals court last year ruled that the case needed to go to trial with regard to two counts.

The victory in the Uniloc case comes as Microsoft is awaiting the result of an appeal in another patent case in which the custom XML feature in recent versions of Word was found to infringe on patents held by Canada's I4i. If it fails in its appeal bid, Microsoft faces damages of more than $200 million in that case as well as an injunction that would halt sales of word with the infringing feature.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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