Feeds

MS defeated in ergo keyboard patent appeal

District Court must re-type ruling

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The US Court of Appeals has told Microsoft that it should have not been successful in its attempt to have two patents detailing ergonomic keyboard designs rendered invalid.

The ruling comes two years after a US District Court judged the patents, held by TypeRight Keyboard, to be void. Two years before that, in July 1998, TypeRight issued an intellectual property violation suit against Microsoft.

It alleged that Microsoft had adopted a keyboard design it owned: specifically, splitting left and right groups of the keys to better suit the position of the user's hands, and the addition of a large wrist-rest in front.

In June 2000, Microsoft produced testimony from German company Marquardt GmbH, alleging that it had developed just such a keyboard layout before TypeRight had filed its first patent application.

However, the appeal court this week questioned the credibility of that testimony: "While this is a close case, we conclude that summary judgment of invalidity was improperly granted and that a trial is necessary to determine whether the testimony offered by Microsoft to prove that the Marquardt document was prior art is credible."

Microsoft is sticking to its claim that the patents are invalid. "The evidence will also ultimately show that there was no infringement of any kind, and our ergonomic keyboard technology was developed by our own engineers based on pre-existing Microsoft technology," it said.

TypeRight said it was willing to go to trial to settle the matter, if necessary. ®

Related stories

MS sued for abusing mice
Microsoft squares Intertrust DRM suit for $440m
Gateway reports HP to ITC
Qualcomm claims victory in TI suit
Cisco sued in Wi-Fi patent clash
Sony settles Walkman patent case
PalmOne overturns Xerox Graffiti patent
Intel accuser alleges 150 others violate chip patent
Apple seeks iPod UI, scroll patents
Intel, Dell sued over SSE, HyperThreading

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.