Microsoft loses patent appeal in U.S.
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Microsoft loses patent appeal in U.S.

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 05:08 Hrs
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Seattle: Microsoft must pay more than $140 million for violating software patents owned by Michigan-based z4 Technologies, a federal appeals court has ruled.

z4 Technologies sued Microsoft and Autodesk , maker of drafting software, in 2004, claiming the technology they used to activate newly installed software and prevent piracy infringed on patents created and owned by David Colvin, the owner of privately held z4.

z4 argued that Microsoft's Windows XP and Office 2003 suite of productivity software used its patented method of asking computer users to supply two passwords, or authorization codes, before they could fully use new software.

In April 2006, a federal jury in East Texas ordered Microsoft to pay $115 million to z4, plus attorney fees and $25 million for willful patent infringement. Microsoft, which had argued that the patents were invalid, appealed the decision.

The jury also ordered Autodesk to pay $18 million to z4. On November 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which considers all patent appeals, upheld the lower court's decision in its entirety.

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