Digital rights management company Z4 Technologies has sued Microsoft again for patent infringements by Windows Vista and Office 2007. The company was awarded $140m from Microsoft in a patent-infringement suit in April 2006.
Z4 Technologies claimed that Microsoft has made only minor changes in Vista and Office for their product-activation technology that has been found to violate patents that Z4 holds. The company further claimed that they had notified Microsoft of these issues last year but nothing was done to fix it. Z4 holds patents for product-activation technology aimed at preventing unauthorized use or piracy of software.
In April 2006, US District Court in Eastern Texas found that both Microsoft and Autodesk infringed Z4 patents involving Windows XP and Autocad programs. The jury ordered Microsoft and Autodesk to pay $115m and $18m, respectively.
Later in August 2007, the US District judge Leonard Davis added another $25m more in damages on Microsoft for litigation misconduct stating that the software company tried to have z4’s patents declared unenforceable. Mr Davis also upheld the original fines and ordered Microsoft to pay z4 $1.98m and Autodesk $322,000 in attorney fees.
Microsoft is also involved in another lawsuit from Lucent for its Xbox 360 console. The patent filed by Lucent alleges that Microsoft has infringed its technology to decode MPEG-2 files in the console. Lucent filed a suit in March 2006 at US District Court in San Diego and requested a relief injunction and unspecified damages.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates