Microsoft slapped with $388 million patent verdict

A federal jury has found that the product activation method used in some versions of Windows and Office infringes on a Uniloc patent.

Microsoft was hit Wednesday with a $388 million verdict in a long-running patent infringement case.

In the suit, Uniloc alleged that Microsoft used its patented technology as part of the software giant's product activation methods. A federal jury in Rhode Island found that Windows XP, Office XP, and Windows Server 2003 infringed on a Uniloc patent.

Microsoft said that it will appeal.

"We are very disappointed in the jury verdict," Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said in an e-mail. "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."

Microsoft had 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 trial began March 23.

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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