Feeds

Microsoft squares Intertrust DRM suit for $440m

Peace of mind

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft is paying $440m to settle its long-running digital rights management (DRM) patent infringement dispute with Intertrust. The one-off pay-out means that Microsoft customers can use their software "as they are intended to be used without requiring a license from InterTrust".

Anything else would have been intolerable, which may be why Microsoft opted to draw a line under this case. Marshall Phelps, Microsoft lawyer, said: "One of our goals with this and our broader intellectual property (IP) licensing program is to provide peace of mind for our customers and partners by letting them know that patent licensing is our responsibility." Quite.

Software developers working solely on the Microsoft platform will not be required to sign up for an Intertrust license. But they must sign on the dotted line if they are combining MS software with that of third parties. More here.

Intertrust filed its initial suit against Microsoft in June, 2001, and added more complaints along the way to take in just about all Microsoft platform software. Originally a lossmaking digital video software company, Intertrust ditched its operating business in May 2002, to concentrate solely on licensing technology developed inhouse to deliver content securely. The same month, it claimed an early IP licensing success in Sony, which paid $28.5m and agreed to pay royalties for the technology.

Sony was so convinced by the Intertrust claim that it teamed up with Philips to buy the firm for $453m in early 2003.

Microsoft has been in settling mood, lately. Last week, it settled an anti-trust dispute with Sun, perhaps its most vociferous opponent in the computer industry, for $2bn. The hush money means that Sun is withdrawing its complaint with the EC. However, the Commission's investigation into Microsoft's on competition grounds has long since developed its own momentum. Last month, the EC imposed a record fine on Microsoft and ordered the firm to unbundle Windows Media Player from Windows. Microsoft will appeal the ruling - the next step is a submission to the EU's Court of First Instance, in time for the 8 June deadline.

The appeals process could run until 2009. ®

Related stories

Sony buys in InterTrust DRM technology
InterTrust sues Microsoft (on just about everything)
Sony, Philips to buy InterTrust for $453m
Philips leaks Intertrust open DRM details
Macrovision patent claims over Intertrust sound like wishful thinking

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.