" ITREALMS: Microsoft fined N57.1bn in favour of Uniloc


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Microsoft fined N57.1bn in favour of Uniloc

Microsoft Corporation has been lately awash with litigations, just as one of them attracted a grant of $388 million (about N57.1 billion) as ordered a federal jury in Rhode Island in favour of Uniloc.

This is coming as, TomTom, another technology company has responded to Microsoft’s patent suit by filing a counter-claim of its own against the software maker.

According to the report by CNET, in the suit, Uniloc alleged that Microsoft used its patented technology as part of the software giant’s product-activation methods, even as a federal jury in Rhode Island found that Windows XP, Office XP and Windows Server 2003 infringed on a Uniloc patent.

But sources at Microsoft indicated that the software giant intends to appeal the ruling favour of Uniloc, expressing disappointment over the ruling.

Affirming Microsoft position, its spokesman Mr. Jack Evans was quoted as denying the infringement, saying that the patent is invalid and this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported.

“We will ask the court to overturn the verdict,” he said.

Microsoft had initially won a summary judgment ruling, which would have ended the case in its favour, 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 on March 23.

Meanwhile, TomTom a Global Positioning System (GPS) device maker, based in the Netherlands, has filed a countersuit in the United States (US) District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia last Monday.

TomTom officials said, Microsoft’s Streets and Trips products infringe on four patents it owns related to vehicle-navigation software.

In a statement, Microsoft lawyer Horacio Gutierrez said the company is still in the process of reviewing TomTom’s court filing.

“As has been the case for more than a year, we remain committed to a licensing solution, although we will continue to press ahead with the complaints we initiated in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington and the International Trade Commission,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalls that late February, this year, Microsoft had sued TomTom, accusing the company of infringing on eight patents.

The suit was notable because it included for the first time in a court filing, Microsoft’s long-asserted position that the Linux kernel infringes on Microsoft patents.

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