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Vendor expands patent allegations against Microsoft

A small intellectual property development vendor that sued Microsoft last year for alleged patent infringement is expanding its allegations against the software maker.

InterTrust Technologies announced yesterday that it has added four new allegations of patent infringement to the lawsuit it filed in April 2001 against Microsoft. The suit now involves 11 patents, 144 claims and more than 190 infringement scenarios the company believed Microsoft violated.

InterTrust alleged that Microsoft products, including Windows XP, Office XP, Microsoft .Net, several Microsoft .Net-based products and services, and Windows Media Player infringe on its patents. The company is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged violations.

Last week, Microsoft was hit with a lawsuit claiming it had violated patents and disclosed trade secrets while creating its upcoming Corona digital video playback technology. The suit, filed by audio and video delivery software maker Burst.com, accuses Microsoft of illegally employing Burst's video delivery technologies after gaining access to the company's proprietary information during negotiations.

Talal Shamoon, vice-president of business development for InterTrust, said the company has attempted to negotiate licensing deals with Microsoft regarding InterTrust's patents, but the talks have not led to contracts.

The company is now seeking to get Microsoft to license its technologies for fair value, he said. "We're happy to let the courts decide, and we're willing to see it through," Shamoon said. "The more we dig, the more we find infringing instances. We just want to be able to be paid for our inventions."

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said his company had not yet reviewed the latest filing by InterTrust. "It seems to be a familiar pattern from a company whose sole business purpose appears to be filing patent claims against Microsoft," Desler said.

In March, InterTrust expanded its lawsuit to cover alleged patent infringements related to Microsoft Windows File Protection technology used in Windows XP and Windows 2000.

In February, the company filed a second patent lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that Microsoft's Windows Plug and Play Driver Certification Program infringes on InterTrust patents.

InterTrust's original lawsuit alleged that Microsoft infringed on a patent that covered system components for receiving encrypted content and rules, securely managing content use and transmitting rights, managed content, and related rules to other users.

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