Feeds

Judge slaps Microsoft with $25m fine top-up

Says 'no' to retrial

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has been ordered to pay an additional $25m to a tiny digital rights management company for "litigation misconduct" during a patent case with fellow defendant Autodesk.

A US judge has found Microsoft guilty of acting in bad faith during its case with z4 Technologies, by "burying" vital evidence that could have helped z4, and of attempting to overwork the court and potentially mislead the jury. Microsoft's actions indicated it felt z4 was a "small and irrelevant company that was not worthy of Microsoft's time and attention," the judge said. Microsoft must now pay z4 $140m - Microsoft's second highest patent penalty (Eolas is first on $521m).

A jury in April found Microsoft and Autodesk had violated two of z4's patents, and ordered they jointly pay $133m. Microsoft was found to have infringed on the patents in Microsoft Office and Windows XP and fined $115m in damages plus $2m in fees.

The extra $25m is a double slap in the face to Microsoft, as the company had been asking the court for a new trial arguing z4's patents were unenforceable.

While rejecting the call for a new trial, district judge Leonard Davies outlined four areas where he said Microsoft had engaged in misconduct. Among the four, an attempt to overwhelm the court and the litigant with an "unprecidented" 3,499 exhibits that resulted in a 283 page exhibit list and took up 30 lineal feet of space. However, at trial, defendants admitted just 107 of the exhibits.

"The court concludes that defendants attempted to bury the relevant 107 exhibits admitted at trial in its voluminous 3,449 marked exhibits in the hope that they could conceal their trial evidence in a massive pile of decoys," Davies wrote. "This type of trial tactic is not only unfair to z4, but creates unnecessary work on the court staff and is confusing and potentially misleading to the jury."

Microsoft was also pulled up for withholding an unfavorable email that surfaced only during deposition, for misrepresenting data, and for a "highly questionable" declaration surrounding a "read this first card" that was presented to prove z4 knew of Autodesk's IP policy and that - in light of other instances of litigation misconduct - Davies considered an intentional attempt to mislead z4 and the court.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.