Microsoft hit with $388 million ruling in patent dispute

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Score one for the little guy.

Uniloc, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of anti-piracy solutions, has won a $388 million patent infringement claim against Microsoft.

A federal judge ruled this week that the software giant infringed on a Uniloc patent held for technology that restricts the unlicensed installation of software. Uniloc sued Microsoft in 2003, claiming that Microsoft used the Uniloc software for its product activation system in Windows XP and Office XP.

David Bowermaster, a spokesman for Microsoft, said in a statement that the company plans to appeal.

"We are very disappointed in the jury verdict," he said. "We believe that we did not infringe, that the patent is invalid, and this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported."

Uniloc's chances for a victory looked bleak until a U.S. Appeals Court last year overturned a U.S. District Court in Rhode Island's ruling that said Microsoft did not infringe.

"We're happy with the verdict," Uniloc CEO Brad Davis told SCMagazineUS.com on Friday. "We think we have a very unique approach to digital security, and software publishing is one part of it."


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