Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ loses appeal to limit damage awards

Filed under

Microsoft lost a U.S. appeals-court bid to limit the damages software makers can be ordered to pay in some patent-infringement cases, on its way to a new trial in a dispute over a method of surfing the Internet.

A jury had told Microsoft to pay Chicago-based Eolas Technologies $521 million for infringement. Yesterday an appeals court let stand its earlier decision that upheld the infringement finding and ruled that Microsoft can be forced to pay damages based on overseas sales of software. Microsoft still gets a new trial to argue its claim that the patent is invalid.

The case involves an award in 2003 to closely held Eolas by a jury that decided Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser infringed an Eolas patent on technology for reading information stored on the Internet. Intel and Time Warner's America Online supported Microsoft's argument that damages in such patent-infringement cases shouldn't include global sales when disks containing software code have been sent overseas.

Microsoft said in court papers that more than 64 percent of the $521 million award was based on computers "made, sold and used entirely in foreign countries."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled March 2 that Microsoft's software on computers sold overseas was covered by a U.S. patent because it had been copied from a master program developed in the U.S.

The ruling also upheld the jury's finding that Microsoft infringed the Eolas patent, though the court granted Microsoft a new trial on the sole issue of whether the Eolas patent was valid. That means Microsoft must win a decision invalidating the patent to avoid paying the $521 million award.

Today, the appeals court made no comment in refusing to reconsider its decision.


More in Tux Machines

Linux 3.9 To Linux 4.9 Kernel Benchmarks: Testing The 21 Last Kernels

With the in-development Linux 4.9 kernel showing signs of some performance improvements, I've gone ahead and tested the last 21 major kernel releases on the same system. From Linux 3.9 to Linux 4.9, each of the major kernel releases was tested from the same Intel Core i7 desktop with a variety of benchmarks. Read more

Keeping up the fight for free software

Here's John Sullivan's vision for a more just world: You pop into your favorite electronics retailer and encounter a panoply of new gadgets, each one more alluring and astounding than the last—and each one guaranteed to respect your freedom. Your freedom to inspect its software. Your freedom to modify that software. Your freedom to have that software collect only the data you wish. Read more

This Linux computer may be smaller than a coin, but it packs some big computing power

Whether you think they’re a novelty, sneaky powerful, or just seriously cute, microcomputers are here to stay. Find out what all the fuss is about with the versatile, ultra-adaptable VoCore 2 Linux mini computer, paired with an Ultimate Dock for just $42.99. If you’ve never experimented with a microcomputer like the VoCore 2, you may be surprised by how much you can do with this tiny open source computer and wireless router. The VoCore 2’s 580 MHz processor is ready to handle almost any coding plan, including Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby projects. Read more Also: Daily Deal: VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer And Ultimate Dock

Nantes: Open source cuts off recurring charges

Switching to open source means the end of the periodic recurring charges from proprietary software vendors, says Eric Ficheux, change management specialist at Nantes Métropole, France’s 6th largest city. “The total cost of ownership of LibreOffice is far lower than of its proprietary predecessor”, he says. Read more