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Microsoft fined $9m for Excel patent breach

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $9m (£4.8m) in damages for infringing a spreadsheet patent used in its Excel program

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $9m (£4.8m) in damages for infringing a spreadsheet patent used in its Excel program.

A Californian jury awarded the payment to Guatemalan software inventor Carlos Amado, who sued Microsoft for infringing his patent covering software that linked Microsoft's Excel and Access applications through a single spreadsheet. 

Amado said he filed for a patent on the technology in 1990 and approached Microsoft with it in 1992, after developing the solution while a student at Stanford University.

Amado said that after being spurned by Microsoft, the company started using his solution in software that appeared in 1995. He had sought damages to the tune of around $400m.

Microsoft had denied any wrongdoing and said it had been developing a spreadsheet linking system from 1989. It may now appeal the verdict.

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