by CIO Staff

Jury: Microsoft, Autodesk Infringed on Patents

Apr 20, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

A Michigan man has been awarded $133 million by a federal jury in Texas as a result of a patent infringement lawsuit he filed against Microsoft and Autodesk, The Wall Street Journal reports.

David Colvin, founder of z4 Technologies, filed the suit against the two firms, charging each with illegally employing anti-piracy software patents in Microsoft’s Office and Windows XP applications and Autodesk’s AutoCAD program, according to The Journal.

The jury ordered Microsoft to pay $115 million to Colvin and z4, and Autodesk must pay $18 million, The Journal reports.

“While we are disappointed with this verdict, we continue to contend that there was no infringement of any kind and that the facts in this case show that Microsoft developed its own product-activation technologies well before z4 Technologies filed for its patent,” said Jack Evans, a spokesman with Microsoft, according to The Journal.

Evans also noted that the Texas court has not yet handed down a ruling on whether z4 purposefully held back information pertaining to other firms’ product-activation technologies when submitting its patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an assertion that Microsoft backs, The Journal reports.

Caroline Kawashima, a spokeswoman for San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk, said her company wasn’t pleased with the verdict, and that it plans to work with Microsoft on any further legal action, according to The Journal.

The patents at issue in the case are related to specific codes and passwords that are connected to copies of software meant to stop unauthorized reproduction, The Journal reports. A number of legal experts have noted that Microsoft and Autodesk could have to modify any software that violates the z4 patents, according to The Journal.

This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.

Also, have a listen to CIO Publisher Gary Beach’s podcast on Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, Vista, as well as the topic of open source.

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