Microsoft and drafting software company Autodesk have been asked by a federal appeals court to pay $140m and $18m, respectively, for infringing on software patents of digital rights management company Z4 Technologies.
The court rejected Microsoft’s appeal of a jury decision handed out in April 2006. The jury had found that both Microsoft and Autodesk had willfully infringed on two patents for product-activation held by Z4 Technologies. In September 2004, z4 sued Microsoft and Autodesk alleging infringement of its invention that controlled the number of copies of authorized software by monitoring registration information and by requiring authorized users to periodically update a password or authorization code provided by a password administrator.
Microsoft cited the recent eBay case to reduce the amount of the jury’s award to Z4 Technologies by 50%. It claimed that the Supreme Court had ruled in the eBay case that infringement awards should be based only on sales within US. However, the judge dismissed the plea as the issue was not raised during the original trial in the district court.
The judge also denied an injunction against Microsoft stating that the patented invention was only a small component of the product under dispute and monetary damages were sufficient compensation. The injunction would have barred Microsoft from making or selling software with product activation like Windows XP and Windows Office.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates