Microsoft ordered to pay $62m in patent suit

A jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $62.3m (£36.8m) in damages for infringing on a technology patent held by a division of...

A jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $62.3m (£36.8m) in damages for infringing on a technology patent held by a division of manufacturing and technology company SPX.

SPX said its Imagexpo subsidiary sued Microsoft in October last year for infringing on its patent with a feature of Microsoft's NetMeeting conferencing product. The patent related to real-time conferencing.

The jury awarded Imagexpo $62.3m in compensatory damages and found that Microsoft willfully infringed the patent. The court has yet to rule on other aspects of the case that could affect the final outcome.

"We are disappointed in the jury's verdict and we continue to stand firm in our belief that there is no infringement of any kind on the patent and that the Imagexpo and Microsoft technologies in question are quite different," Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said.

Microsoft infringed on the patent in a feature of its NetMeeting product called Whiteboard. It has stopped offering the Whiteboard feature in version 3 of NetMeeting.

Drake said that the lawsuit had "no bearing" on Microsoft's decision to stop offering the feature.

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service




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