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Softvault sues Microsoft and others over DRM

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 18 Jan 2006 2:03 User comments (24)

Softvault sues Microsoft and others over DRM Softvault, a Washington based Intellectual Property company, has sued Microsoft and many other tech firms including Yahoo for alleged patent infringement. The main patent in question is "US patent 6,249,868". It covers security components for a computer which can enable or disable systems by use of a remote server. Softvault also claims that the companies it has targeted are infringing another one of its patents, US patent 6,594,765.
The main action is against Microsoft. It was filed in the Eastern District Court of Texas. Softvault alleges that products with the feature include Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Microsoft Office XP, Access 2002, Excel 2002, Vision 2002, Visual Studio Net, Office 2000 SR-1, Project 2000 SR-1, PowerPoint and other products. Softvault also alleges Microsoft infringes US patent 6,594,765.

Another case against Yahoo, Napster, Creative Labs, Dell, Gateway, Iriver, Samsung, Toshiba, Digital Networks, Palm, Audiovox, Sandisk and Thomson relates to the same patents but is slightly different. Softvault alleges that Microsoft distributes the Windows Media DRM software, which breaches its patent, and the other tech firms use the same DRM so they also infringe the patents.

The Inquirer

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24 user comments

118.1.2006 3:36

I'm a huge M$ fan personally, so i hope they win

218.1.2006 4:20

ummmm article is kind of small and doesn't give to may details, but who cares.... Wow does softwault realize the hornets nest it's poking at??? It's going after the biggest names in the computer industry. kind of interested how microsoft will handle this one. LD

318.1.2006 4:22 explains the patents in question a little bit better LD

418.1.2006 4:55

Ah. These guys patented "keeping connection up through periodic ping checks". Awesome. Only a good half of network-based applications use a system that patent in question could argueably cover. January 2006 - viral patent suit month.

518.1.2006 8:05

Do you think Softvault could really handle a lawsuit of this magnatude?

618.1.2006 8:44

whether one is a fan or enemy of M$ or any other group being sued isn't important. what is important is that, if these companies really did infringe a patent, they are made to pay reparations; if they don't, they'll get away with the same corporate thievery that they have gotten away with for so many decades, and another chance for the right thing to happen will not. even if your the big guy, that size doesn't entitle you to justify taking whatever you want from the little guy when he's the one who came up with it--even though countries get away with it all the time...coup d'etat!

718.1.2006 10:13

Hope iRiver are ok.. -Mike

818.1.2006 10:24

Who cares? It's DRM. Maybe this case will help with the reform of the patent system to disallow software patents once and for all. Also, anytime DRM is brought into public it is a good thing, since all these companies are always trying to hide it.

918.1.2006 10:24

good,glad to here that.Maybe Microsoft will bag the DRM because it sucks anyways.Either way they will still lose some money with getting sued or manufacturing a new OS with DRM.I wouldn't buy an OS with DRM so they lost some money right there.I do like microsoft though despite the DRM problem.I'm glad that softvault has a patent on their DRM.It will be interesting to see a small company sue a big giant.Any bets?

1018.1.2006 10:55

M$ will win this one.

1118.1.2006 12:32

Even if M$ doesnt win, it's not exactly going to hurt them.

1218.1.2006 14:26

So either: A) This company wins, and they have their spy-technology protected by the government, or B) The big companies triumph, and we all continue to get stuck with ball-and-chain DRM. I think I'm just going to stop buying anything "legal" from now on.

1318.1.2006 14:28

I don't think M$ will win this one cause afterall whe nwas the last time such a small companie tried anything this big on M$. but thats just my oppinion

1418.1.2006 14:34

Isn't it ironic that a website almost exclusively dedicated to facilitating the hacking industry would generate comments againts the same thing, only by corporations?

1518.1.2006 14:35

I'm pretty sick of al lthese little sh*t companies who sit back and patent ultra basic stuff and then don't say a boo until the settlement will be in the millions. These little lawsuits are all scams basically, the patent holder never says boo ultil the othe rocmpany unknowingly has infringed on the patent for years. Then they sue.

1618.1.2006 14:37

sounds like a good idea to buy Softvault stock since microshaft will be buying them soon enough.;p

1718.1.2006 15:54

I would love to patent this: Before a company files a lawsuit against another company a one time fee must be payed to my company to continue with all of the bulls**t your company is complaining about. Patent 6,548,958.

1818.1.2006 19:19

You have the tens of thousands to patent whatever you want, go for it.

1918.1.2006 19:28

Check out the actual patents. This company's claim seems to be a pile of ...well.... links for the patents are and (edited by admin, replaced long URLs with tinyurls)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Jan 2006 @ 22:31

2018.1.2006 19:39

Yea, go softvault, hate microsoft...

2120.1.2006 16:23

MS gets the sh*ts when their produccts are pirated or copyed or whatever. So they should treat other companys the same way they want to be treated.

2220.1.2006 21:22

i hope Softvault gets there ass countersued microsoft could higher the bigest lawyers and they will find a way to counter sue

2321.1.2006 16:14

All I can say is those people at softvault are idiots. Do they really thing they can win. Money talks and I wonder who has more.

2421.1.2006 20:10

I agree software patents are a bunch of cocka but unfortunately the Big M will win. MS makes 32 Million a day or more do you think a little company can take on these guys.

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