Court Favors Microsoft in Patent Fight

The Supreme Court sided with Microsoft Corp. on Monday in a case that restricts the reach of U.S. patents overseas.

The Supreme Court sided with Microsoft Corp. on Monday in a case that restricts the reach of U.S. patents overseas.

In a 7-1 decision, the court found that Microsoft is not liable in a patent dispute with AT&T.

The decision could impact other lawsuits against Microsoft and save the company billions because of the global scope of its operations.

AT&T had sued Microsoft, alleging computers running the Windows operating system infringe on an AT&T technology that compresses speech into computer code.

AT&T said it is entitled to damages for every Windows-based computer manufactured outside the United States, which uses the digital speech coder system.

Microsoft acknowledged violations in the United States regarding the AT&T patent, while insisting the infringement should not be extended internationally.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, May 2, 2007 EGJ NY

Chances are Microsoft's lawyers have already figured out the patents in the US mean nothing unless they are re-patented in other countries. To think otherwise is foolish. Despite everyones irrational venom filled hatred of MS, they haven't really patented a whole lot of their technology. This is why they are getting into patent fights now. MS aspires to be like IBM (which is they patent everything) and has had a large contingent of lawyers working on patenting things like the FAT file system, which everyone uses now without licensing fees, for the last three years.

IBM was hailed for releasing some patents into the OpenSource domain a few years ago... did anyone bother to look at what patents they released... most of them were outdated or useless... they didn't do anything of value for the aftermarket and OpenSource movement, but they got exceptionally good press from it. Do you people actaully read the news or just see MS's name and start firing off commentary filled with M$'s because you believe that is all there is to be said about it???

Tue, May 1, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Score one for the lawyers. Perhaps M$ IP rights should not be enforceable overseas?

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