W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > January 2004

Microsoft looses another patent lawsuit

From: Richard M. Smith <rms@computerbytesman.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 19:11:18 -0500
To: "'W3C Public Web Plugins List'" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1AlzmD-0000UF-00@smtp03.mrf.mail.rcn.net>

Ouch, this loss sounds real expensive given that it covers major Microsoft
products.  Microsoft is involved in about 30 different patent lawsuits at
the present time.



Federal Judge Rules Against Microsoft In Ariz Patent Suit
Wednesday January 28, 6:15 pm ET 
By Marcelo Prince, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES 

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--A federal judge ruled that some Microsoft Corp.
(NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) software infringes on digital imaging patents held by
a Tucson, Ariz., firm and said the case should go to a jury.
William D. Browning of U.S. District Court in Arizona ruled Monday in favor
of Research Corporation Technologies Inc., or RCT, which has sued Microsoft
for patent infringement. He granted RCT's request for partial summary

Although Browning found Microsoft infringed on RCT's patents, a jury trial
will be held to determine the extent of Microsoft's infringement, any
potential damages and the validity of RCT's patents. No trial date has been

RCT alleges several Microsoft products, including Windows 2000, Windows XP
and Office 2003, infringe on patents for its half-toning technique, which is
a process used to display and print digital images.

Brian Ferguson, a lawyer with McDermott, Will & Emery, who represented RCT,
said the question of whether Microsoft infringed "has been taken away from
the jury because the judge thought the issue was so clear." He said the
trial could begin later this year or early next year.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said, "We continue to contend that RCT's patents are
not valid and look forward to the opportunity to present evidence that makes
this point at trial." Microsoft can't appeal the judge's decision until the
jury trial has ended.

The half-toning technique was developed by professors at Rochester Institute
of Technology in the late 1980s to create higher-quality images at faster
speeds. RCT, which owns the patents, filed similar infringement lawsuits
against Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ - News) in 1999 and Seiko Epson Corp.
in 2000. Both cases were later settled and the printer makers have taken
licenses to the technology.

-By Marcelo Prince, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5244;
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2004 19:11:22 UTC

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