Contents tagged with Legal Issues

  • Google, Microsoft Spar on Antitrust

    Posted by sumeethevans on March 2 2010, 11:03 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    But what really caught Google's attention was the Internet site's legal counsel: It was Charles "Rick" Rule, long the chief outside counsel on competition issues for Google archrival Microsoft.

    "My reaction was, 'What the heck is this?' " says Mark Sheriff, an Ohio attorney who represents Google, speaking of the involvement of Mr. Rule and his powerhouse law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, whose antitrust practice is based in Washington, D.C. "It's not every day that a big D.C. law firm like Cadwalader gets involved in a collections lawsuit in Ohio."

    Mr. Rule also represents another small Internet firm that has brought an antitrust suit against Google. Meanwhile, in Europe, following complaints about Google that came from, among others, a Microsoft subsidiary in Germany, the European Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust inquiry into the search giant.

    To Google, the pattern is clear: It contends Microsoft is embarking on a proxy war against it through various apparently unrelated cases, preparing the ground for a broader antitrust assault of some sort on Google's dominance in the online world. "It's become clear that our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves, learn more about our business practices, and use that information to develop a broader antitrust complaint against us," said a Google spokesman, Adam Kovacevich.

    Microsoft calls that nonsense. It says it neither initiated nor is funding the small Internet firms' antitrust lawsuits. The plaintiffs and their legal counsel also deny that Microsoft orchestrated the actions. The Internet firms say they chose Cadwalader and Mr. Rule on their own.

    Full Story At Source

  • Microsoft granted stay of Word injunction

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 5 2009, 2:58 AM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    Microsoft has been granted a stay of a landmark injunction in a patent infringement case that would have required the software giant to stop selling its popular Word in its current form by next month.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday granted Microsoft's motion for a stay, pending appeal, of an injunction issued in August by a federal judge that bars sales of Word that include a custom XML code found to infringe on patents held by i4i--the plaintiff.

    "We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on September 23," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement.

    In response to the court's decision, i4i expressed confidence in its position and accused Microsoft of employing "scare tactics."

    Continue at cnet news

  • Dell, HP back Microsoft in Word legal battle

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 1 2009, 1:56 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Legal Issues.

    Microsoft made a similar argument last week when it filed its motion for a stay of the injunction. At that time, Microsoft warned of "massive disruptions" to its sales of Office, as well as to the sales of important partners, and named both Dell and HP.

    Dell and HP added their voices to the chorus of implied chaos. "The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft. Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Hewlett-Packard."

    The public versions of both briefs were heavily redacted. Dell and HP said that the deleted material included descriptions of the "contractual provisions governing software changes between Dell, [Hewlett-Packard] and Microsoft."

    A Dell spokesman and an HP spokeswoman declined to comment further for their companies, with the latter citing company policy not to comment on pending litigation.

    A source familiar with the amicus curiae briefs, however, hinted that it would be difficult if not impossible for Dell and HP to meet the October deadline. The companies first must receive new code from Microsoft, test the resulting disk images before using them to format new PCs' hard drives and then get those systems into the sales channels and pull out existing PCs that are equipped with current versions of Word.

    Continue at Computerworld

  • Judge: Microsoft can't sell Word anymore

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 12 2009, 9:01 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Legal Issues.

    A Texas judge ruled Tuesday that Microsoft cannot sell one of its flagship products, Word, in the United States because of patent infringement.

    You read that right: Microsoft cannot sell Word, the judge ruled.

    Judge Leonard Davis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ordered a permanent injunction that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML," according to an announcement by the plaintiff, Toronto-based i4i Inc.

    XML essentially is a programming language that allows users to customize the underlying format of their word-processing documents, for example, and makes them readable across different word-processing programs. The ability to read and write XML documents is an integral feature of Microsoft Word.

    In its complaint (PDF), i4i alleges Microsoft willingly violated its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) on a method for reading XML. The company, whose Web site advertises that users can "Create and edit XML content in Microsoft Word," helps clients work with XML.

    Continue for Full Story at seattlepi

  • Microsoft Proposal to European Commission

    Posted by sumeethevans on July 25 2009, 3:31 AM. Posted in Internet Explorer, Legal Issues.

    As the European Commission has just announced in a statement, Microsoft has made a new proposal in an effort to address competition law issues related to Internet Explorer and interoperability.

    Under our new proposal, among other things, European consumers who buy a new Windows PC with Internet Explorer set as their default browser would be shown a ‘ballot screen’ from which they could, if they wished, easily install competing browsers from the Web. If this proposal is ultimately accepted, Microsoft will ship Windows in Europe with the full functionality available in the rest of the world. As requested by the Commission, we will be publishing our proposal in full here on our website as soon as possible.

    While the Commission solicits public comment and considers this proposal, we are committed to ensuring that we are in full compliance with European law and our obligations under the 2007 Court of First Instance ruling.

    As we said June 11th, we currently are providing PC manufacturers in Europe with E versions of Windows 7, which we believe are fully compliant with European law. PCs manufacturers building machines for the European market will continue to be required to ship E versions of Windows 7 until such time that the Commission fully reviews our proposals and determines whether they satisfy our obligations under European law. If the Commission approves this new proposal, Microsoft will begin work at that time to begin implementation of it with PC manufacturers.

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  • Microsoft and TomTom Settle Patent Infringement Cases

    Posted by bink on March 30 2009, 11:44 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    Microsoft Corp. and TomTom N.V. today announced that they have settled the patent infringement cases brought by Microsoft before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the International Trade Commission (ITC) and by TomTom in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

    The cases have been settled through a patent agreement under which TomTom will pay Microsoft for coverage under the eight car navigation and file management systems patents in the Microsoft case. Also as part of the agreement, Microsoft receives coverage under the four patents included in the TomTom countersuit. The agreement, which has a five-year term, does not require any payment by Microsoft to TomTom. It covers both past and future U.S. sales of the relevant products. The specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    The agreement includes patent coverage for Microsoft’s three file management systems patents provided in a manner that is fully compliant with TomTom’s obligations under the General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2). TomTom will remove from its products the functionality related to two file management system patents (the “FAT LFN patents”), which enables efficient naming, organizing, storing and accessing of file data. TomTom will remove this functionality within two years, and the agreement provides for coverage directly to TomTom’s end customers under these patents during that time.

    Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Microsoft Corporation, stated:

    “We are pleased TomTom has chosen to resolve the litigation amicably by entering into a patent agreement. Our car navigation patents, which are at the heart of the enhanced auto experience enjoyed by millions of drivers today, have been licensed to many companies, including leaders in the car navigation sector. The file management system patents, which increase file management system efficiency and functionality, have also been licensed by many companies, including those that produce mixed source products.

    We were able to work with TomTom to develop a patent agreement that addresses their needs and ours in a pragmatic way. When addressing IP infringement issues, there are two possible paths: securing patent coverage or not using the technology at issue. Through this agreement, TomTom is choosing a combination of both paths to meet the unique needs of its business, and we are glad to help them do so.”

    Peter Spours, Director of IP Strategy and Transactions at TomTom N.V., stated:

    “This agreement puts an end to the litigation between our two companies. It is drafted in a way that ensures TomTom’s full compliance with its obligations under the GPLv2, and thus reaffirms our commitment to the open source community.”

  • TomTom countersues Microsoft in patent dispute

    Posted by bink on March 20 2009, 8:11 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    TomTom has responded to Microsoft's patent suit by filing a patent claim of its own against the software maker.

    The GPS device maker, based in The Netherlands, filed the countersuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Monday. TomTom says Microsoft's Streets and Trips products infringe on four patents it owns related to vehicle navigation software.

    In a statement, Microsoft lawyer Horacio Gutierrez said the company is still in the process of reviewing TomTom's court filing.

    "As has been the case for more than a year, we remain committed to a licensing solution, although we will continue to press ahead with the complaints we initiated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the International Trade Commission."

  • Microsoft v. TomTom: Patent Infringement Action

    Posted by bink on February 26 2009, 5:32 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    Microsoft has filed an action today after attempting for more than a year to engage in licensing discussions with TomTom

    Microsoft Corp. today filed a patent infringement action against TomTom NV and Tom Tom, Inc., and issued the following statement from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing:

    “Microsoft has filed an action today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and in the International Trade Commission (ITC), against TomTom NV and TomTom Inc. for infringement of Microsoft patents. We have taken this action after attempting for more than a year to engage in licensing discussions with TomTom.

    “We have an established intellectual property licensing program, and the patents involved in this case, relating to innovations in car navigation technology and other computing functionality, have been licensed by many others. In situations such as this, when a reasonable business agreement cannot be reached, we have no choice but to pursue legal action to protect our innovations and our partners who license them. Other companies that utilize Microsoft patents have licensed and we are asking TomTom to do the same.

    “TomTom is a highly respected and important company. We remain open to quickly resolving this situation with them through an IP licensing agreement.”

  • Microsoft Statement on European Commission Statement of Objections

    Posted by sumeethevans on January 17 2009, 6:14 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Legal Issues.

     “Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.

    “We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the Statement of Objections now. Under European competition law procedure, Microsoft will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to this Statement of Objections within about two months. The company is also afforded an opportunity to request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under EU procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses Microsoft’s response and conducts the hearing, should Microsoft request one.“

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  • $1.5 billion Microsoft Vista-Capable booty hardly ill-gotten

    Posted by spy on January 6 2009, 4:24 PM. Posted in Windows Vista, Legal Issues.

    An economist's deposition in the ongoing "Vista Capable" lawsuit filed against Microsoft by claimants insisting that the company fraudulently represented its products has testified that Redmond made a pretty penny off the "Vista Capable" designation. In his deposition, economist Keith Leffler stated, "I have been asked by Plaintiffs' counsel to estimate the amount of revenue earned by Microsoft from the licensing of Windows XP on Vista Capable but not Vista Premium Ready PCs... Microsoft revenue from the Windows XP licensing on Vista Capable but not Vista Premium Ready PCs sold to Plaintiffs was $1.505 billion."
  • Google, Apple, Microsoft sued over file preview

    Posted by spy on December 29 2008, 5:46 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    A small Indiana company has sued tech heavyweights Microsoft, Apple, and Google, claiming that it holds the patent on a common file preview feature used by browsers and operating systems to show users small snapshots of the files before they are opened.Cygnus Systems sued the three companies on Wednesday saying that they infringed on its patent with products such as Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome, which allow users to view preview images of documents on the computer. Mac OS X, the iPhone and Safari also infringe, the company said in court filings. Apple uses this technology in its Finder and Cover Flow Mac OS X features, the filings state.While Cygnus has sued three very high profile companies, there may not be the only vendors in Cygnus’s sites. “They were a logical starting place for us,” said Matt McAndrews, a partner with the Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro, law firm, which is representing Cygnus. “We’ve identified many other potentially infringing products that we’re investigating,” he added.Cygnus’s owner and president Gregory Swartz developed the technology laid out in the patent while working on IT consulting projects, McAndrews said. The company is looking for “a reasonable royalty” as well as a court injunction preventing further infringement, he said.The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Arizona, where Swartz resides, McAndrews said.

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  • Russian court clears teacher of piracy

    Posted by spy on December 20 2008, 3:51 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

    I was watching the Russian news today at home and whilst I didn't understand every detail of the entire story I was able to understand that the Russian school director previously convicted of pirating Microsoft software (using it in the classrooms) was cleared by a higher court.  Further more, he was awarded damages and costs.  The end result being that the computers he deployed to the classes were donated and the software was installed on them by the previous owners.

    Software piracy in Russia is a massive issue and been a point of serious negotiations between the Russian and US governments in the past.  I can only assume this will reignite those tensions.  Pirated sofware of all kinds is freely available in markets, Metro stations, even State run facilities have been known to harbour pirates.  Police often patrol these places and simply turn a blind eye to the dealings.  To be fair to the Russians they are making an effort and some progress.  Cases and rulings such as this won't help however. had previously reported on this case.  Check out these links for history...