Microsoft $358m patent violation damages tossed
Still guilty as sin
Microsoft has successfully dodged a court ruling that would have sent hundreds of millions of Redmond dollars to long-running litigant Alcatel-Lucent.
An appeal overturned a $358m award to the telecoms equipment company, after Microsoft was found to have infringed on an Alcatel patent in Outlook.
Judges heading the appeal said that while Microsoft had infringed, the damage lacked evidentiary support. The case has been sent back down to the lower court for fresh damages.
The case claimed Outlook's calendaring function infringed on the patent in the way it displays a month's calendar as a grid and then translates the date into an appointment date form.
Microsoft had argued that it should only pay $6.5m, but Alcatel claimed the patent was worth more, based on Outlook sales, and it deserved $358m.
Appeals judge Paul Mitchel indicated Alcatel had failed to prove the patent was worth what it claimed. He said it had been Alcatel's burden to prove that the licenses relied on were sufficiently comparable to sustain a lump-sum damages award of $358 million. ®
@AC RIAA damages
They have a law that was bribed--- sorry, LOBBIED---- into existence so the RIAA doesn't have to prove damages..it's there built into the civil law code... Thumbs down big time.
It's not just software patents...
... it seems that there are loads of patents for things that are either obvious, subject to loads of prior art or so vague as to be meaningless (and I think this patent fits into all of those categories) which according to the rules should never have been granted.
The patents system is a complete and utter mess and needs to be revisited urgently. I have an interest in kites as power sources for boats and ships and looking at some of the patents that have been granted over the last few years in that area will show you what a joke the whole patent system has become.
I'll be the first to bash Microsoft, but this is really a case of one of those patents that should never have been granted in the first place:
"Outlook's calendaring function infringed on the patent in the way it displays a month's calendar as a grid and then translates the date into an appointment date form"