Court reverses Microsoft victory in patent case

A U.S. appeals court restores a jury verdict in an infringement case brought by Uniloc

A U.S. appeals court has restored a jury verdict in a multimillion-dollar patent infringement case against Microsoft but ordered a new trial on damages.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in an opinion released Tuesday, reversed a district court ruling in favor of Microsoft in a case brought by Uniloc Singapore, the maker of antipiracy software. The jury's decision finding that Microsoft had infringed Uniloc's patent was "supported by substantial evidence," wrote Judge Richard Linn, for a three-judge panel.

However, the jury award of US$388 million was "fundamentally tainted by the use of a legally inadequate methodology," Linn wrote in ordering a new trial on damages.

Microsoft, however, cheered the appeals court ruling. The appeals court put limits on the amount of damages that can be awarded based on product revenues, said David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft.

The appeals court ruling "may signal the end of unreasonable and outsized damages awards based on faulty methodology," Howard said in a statement. "We look forward to the new trial."

The jury from the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island ruled in April 2009 that Microsoft's product activation system infringed on a patent held by Uniloc. District court Judge William Smith threw out the jury award in September 2009.

This is the second time the appeals court has sent the case, originally filed in September 2003, back to the Rhode Island court. Smith threw out the case in 2006, but the same appeals court sent the case back for re-trial in August 2008.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightMicrosoftlegalintellectual propertypatentCivil lawsuitsU.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitU.S. District Court for the District of Rhode IslandUniloc SingaporeWilliam SmithRichard Linn

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?