Two patents for preventing software piracy survived appeal to the Federal Circuit today. The patentholder, z4 Technologies, sued Microsoft for infringement by its "Office" application software group and "Windows" operating system. An East Texas jury found for z4 and awarded it $115 million. After trial, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis rejected the defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law. He also enhanced damages by $25 million and awarded z4 its attorneys’ fees.
Although the Federal Circuit agreed with Microsoft on a point or two, it held that the errors didn’t require reversal or a new trial. The court construed "user" the way Microsoft did but concluded that the difference made no difference. It also rejected Microsoft’s arguments about obviousness by anticipation and inclusion of foreign sales in the damages award. z4 Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 06-1638 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 16, 2007).
Blawgletter bets the lawyers had fun talking about whether Microsoft pirated the anti-pirating patents.