Software Giants Getting Sued: Microsoft and Apple
Article by George Norman
On 09 Apr 2009
Microsoft and Apple, two of the biggest names in the software industry are in court, getting sued. Well, Apple is still in court getting sued over multi-touch technology or touch-sensor-related technology, because Microsoft’s lawsuit has already reached a conclusion – and Microsoft lost big time (it was ordered to pay $388 million).

Microsoft has been sued by Uniloc because it used Uniloc’s patented technology when it came up with it’s own software piracy protection. A federal jury in Rhode Island found Microsoft guilty of patent infringement regarding the activation methods used in the following software applications: Windows XP, Office XP, Windows Server 2003. The court awarded Uniloc $388 million in damages – twice as much as the estimated amount regarding the damages caused by the infringing patent.


Microsoft, who initially won a summary judgment ruling in the case, ruling which stated no infringement took place, expressed its disappointment: “We are very disappointed in the jury verdict. We believe that we do not infringe, that the patent is invalid and that this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported. We will ask the court to overturn the verdict,” said spokesperson Jack Evans.

Over in the Apple camp, things don’t look very rosy either – from a legal point of view. ElanTech Devices Corporation, subsidiary of Elan Microelectronics, is taking Apple to court over touch-sensor-related technologies (that would be the technology that detects the position of your finger on a touchpad or touchscreen – applies to the iPhone, iPod Touch and Apple notebooks). ElanTech says its goal is to get Apple products that infringe its patents barred.

ElanTech spokesperson Dennis Liu comments: “We couldn’t find a common viewpoint with Apple, so we decided we had to take action.” It must be noted that this “common viewpoint” could not be reached over a period of 2 years when the two companies negotiated potential licensing deals. It must also be noted that ElanTech has sued before and won – the case it won was against Synaptics, US company that supplied touchpads.

Tags: Apple, Microsoft, ElanTech, Uniloc, Lawsuit
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Software Giants Getting Sued: Microsoft and Apple
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