AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft must pay $388 million in patent case

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Apr 2009 10:31 User comments (16)

Microsoft must pay $388 million in patent case Microsoft Corp. has been dealt a harsh strike by being ordered to a pay a sum of $388 million in a patent dispute. The dispute is with anti-piracy software maker Uniloc Inc, and specifically concerns Uniloc's patent on "software that generates unique identities for licensed users and prevents unauthorized use or copying of programs." The Redmond software giant said it was very disappointed with the ruling and plans to appeal.
"We believe that we do not infringe, that the patent is invalid and that this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported," said a Microsoft spokesman. "We will ask the court to overturn the verdict." The verdict is the result of a long case in federal court in Rhode Island.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Uniloc in 2003, claiming patent infringement for Microsoft's use of security software to prevent unauthorized use of its Windows operating system and other products, including Office. The damages award is among the largest in history for a patent infringement case.

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16 user comments

110.4.2009 11:00

The irony is that their software still gets pirated :)

210.4.2009 11:02

I'm glad when Microsuck loses money but the problem is Microsoft is right in their argument. The patent is invalid, because ALL software patents are invalid, yet they are allowed with the clause that they use 'computer hardware'. Microsoft is very hyprocritical in stating the patent is invalid, considering the thousands of software patents they have. Looks like they missed out on their chance at the 'software activation' patent.

Uniloc Inc is simply a patent troll and finally got the chance to take on someone, and this time it was the big one. They were lucky, as all patent trolls are simply waiting for luck to arrive.

310.4.2009 16:03

How much money do Microsoft really have?

I bet that this is nothing to Microsoft.

410.4.2009 16:32

Originally posted by kikzm33z:
How much money do Microsoft really have?

I bet that this is nothing to Microsoft.
It adds up very quickly when combined with other losses. In these financial times where owners/higher ups & especially investors are watching their money VERY closely and are also extremely vocal or quick to pull out...well you get the picture.

510.4.2009 17:08
OzMick
Inactive

Originally posted by kikzm33z:
How much money do Microsoft really have?

I bet that this is nothing to Microsoft.
A lot less than you'd think. They were probably going to have to go into debt to pay for their purchase of Yahoo, so they maybe had $20B in cash reserves as of a year or so ago, and that has probably slid considerably too.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/130975.asp

Add that to the 5000 jobs they recently slashed, Microsoft is (deservedly) a company in deep, deep trouble. Operating systems that nobody wants/needs, a mature office suite that has limited potential for improvement so no incentive to upgrade, and netbooks forcing them to sell XP licenses for next to nothing to compete with Linux. No business ethics, and as this patent case shows, hypocritical. Very happy Linux user here.

610.4.2009 17:14

Originally posted by tatsh:
I'm glad when Microsuck loses money . . .

You know, kid's nowadays and even most young adults, don't remember when there were many different computer companies and they all had their own operating systems.

Think of it like this. Imagine you could only go to certain websites with specific browsers. If you liked one website, you would have to buy the browser for that website. Luckily, web browsers are now free and most adhere somewhat to a standard.

Back in the 80's, I would go to a computer store and I had to find the department that handled my computer. Much like game systems now. Think of 5 or six game systems and none work with the other--both hardware like a joystick, printer, or mouse, and software. But Microsoft and IBM really changed the computer industry. Their system caught on and prevailed. Apple stuck it out but is nowhere near the size of the PC industry.

So you need to be thankful in many ways for Microsoft since software and hardware are pretty universal now. You may not like the OS or some other aspect of the company, but at least they helped make computers what they are today.

If you want to use a different system than they offer, go find one of the many third-party operating systems and hope all your software or hardware works. Nothing is stopping you.

710.4.2009 17:53

gallagher that was bound to happen anyway, whether Microsoft was waiting for that day or not.

Open standards is what made computers the way are to day. Microsoft was just lucky and got the chance amongst the confusion to help push along that open standard.

the way i see it is that every corporation has some dirt they'd rather brush under the carpet and forget about.

810.4.2009 18:48

It makes me laugh when I see the internet kiddies of today proudly ranting on about " I hate Microsoft " " I wish BG was dead " " I'm glad when MS loses money " etc etc blah blah - all to impress their online virtual mates and increase their internet street cred rating ( throw a few yo linux ! and firefox mozilla type comments in for an extra point )
The reality is - if it hadn't been for MS over the last 20 years and its basic developments - your internet kiddy experience would be a far bleaker one than you have at the moment and you wouldn't have anywhere near the levels of program that you have now - whatever platform you use !

910.4.2009 20:29
OzMick
Inactive

Originally posted by domie:
It makes me laugh when I see the internet kiddies of today proudly ranting on about " I hate Microsoft " " I wish BG was dead " " I'm glad when MS loses money " etc etc blah blah - all to impress their online virtual mates and increase their internet street cred rating ( throw a few yo linux ! and firefox mozilla type comments in for an extra point )
The reality is - if it hadn't been for MS over the last 20 years and its basic developments - your internet kiddy experience would be a far bleaker one than you have at the moment and you wouldn't have anywhere near the levels of program that you have now - whatever platform you use !
Perhaps without Microsoft's monopoly and illegal practices in achieving it, there would have been MORE competition, and things might be even better than they are today. A good deal of Microsoft has been BOUGHT by Microsoft - NOT innovated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

1010.4.2009 21:11

Originally posted by OzMick:
Perhaps without Microsoft's monopoly and illegal practices in achieving it, there would have been MORE competition, and things might be even better than they are today. A good deal of Microsoft has been BOUGHT by Microsoft - NOT innovated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_ex...inguish


QFT

1111.4.2009 2:13
H08
Inactive

Originally posted by domie:
( throw a few yo linux ! and firefox mozilla type comments in for an extra point )
lol, reminds me of that MS vs Apple cartoon "windows are for old farts and macs get you laid"

1211.4.2009 9:32

Quote:
Originally posted by domie:
( throw a few yo linux ! and firefox mozilla type comments in for an extra point )
lol, reminds me of that MS vs Apple cartoon "windows are for old farts and macs get you laid"
Yeah I watched that too, haha.

1311.4.2009 16:54

gallagher - standardization through monopolization benefits nobody. You want interoperability, free open source is the only way to go. Free as in freedom. Microsoft and Apple do not believe in a free and open market. They only believe in cornering markets, which is the opposite of what capitalism and competition is all about.

Let the monopolists and patent trolls feast on each other like carrion eaters while free men benefit from the open source movement.

1412.4.2009 0:58

Know how they got their monopoly? Because they offered the premium service. Hey, if you want to go back to using an Apple IIe or Commodore 64, go for it--if you're even old enough to have used one in the first place.

Microsoft and Apple delivered quality products that people began buying because they liked it. Wow, I guess we better crack down on the DVD industry since they shut down the VHS. Oh, and didn't VHS shut down Betamax? Now it looks like Blu-ray will shut down DVD's. Each must be evil since they are controlled by a consortium that sets rules and regulations of the product. No, not that.

No one forced any of the computer companies to use Microsoft. Many tried and failed distributing Linux. Look at Office. No one forces you to buy Microsoft Office. There are plenty of commercial alternatives, not to mention freeware that is even compatible. Once again, the premium product prevails.

Firefox seems to be catching up to Internet Explorer. Does that mean Firefox is evil now? Perhaps it will do to IE what IE did to Netscape. If you like it, use it. if you don't, the simply don't use it.

Not too much thought process involved here.

1512.4.2009 2:55
OzMick
Inactive

Originally posted by gallagher:
Not too much thought process involved here.
Yep, and it shows in your argument.

1629.4.2009 3:22

Originally posted by domie:
It makes me laugh when I see the internet kiddies of today proudly ranting on about " I hate Microsoft " " I wish BG was dead " " I'm glad when MS loses money " etc etc blah blah - all to impress their online virtual mates and increase their internet street cred rating ( throw a few yo linux ! and firefox mozilla type comments in for an extra point )
The reality is - if it hadn't been for MS over the last 20 years and its basic developments - your internet kiddy experience would be a far bleaker one than you have at the moment and you wouldn't have anywhere near the levels of program that you have now - whatever platform you use !

You are right of course.
If it wasn't for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Xerox Corp's think tank we would be in the dark ages. These guys were (are) smart…. very smart indeed.

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