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Bad Week In Microsoft Land...


Teddy Rogers

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Teddy Rogers

Another Blow Received by Microsoft in the Anti-trust

Although American diplomats have expressed their concern regarding the treatment received by Microsoft in the anti-trust case, it seems the Redmond company doesn’t enjoy too much support in its homeland.

According to Reuters, a US judge has rejected a subpoena which forced Novell to hand over the documents used by the company in the anti-trust case.

"Enforcing Microsoft's ... subpoena to Novell would circumvent and undermine the law of the European Community concerning how a litigant may obtain third-party documents", the news agency cited Judge Wolf’s 12-page decision.

This is the latest blow received by Microsoft and comes to ruin the enthusiasm expressed by the company’s representatives at the beginning of April, when they said they were about to reach an agreement with the EU.

Next week, Microsoft will appear before the Court of First Instance and try to cancel the 2004 ruling which could force the Redmond company to pay daily fines of up to $2.4 million.

Last month, two other subpoenas to Sun and Oracle was rejected by another judge, and the IBM one is currently under consideration. The Novell documents sought by the software behemoth were used by the EU for the initial anti-trust case against Microsoft.

Microsoft and Autodesk Lose Lawsuit with z4 Technologies

Following the Eolas incident regarding the Internet Explorer’s ActiveX controls, Microsoft lost today another lawsuit centered on patents involved in the Office suit and the operating system Windows XP.

But this time, Microsoft was not alone to share the pain, the lawsuit filed by z4 Technologies, the owner of the patents, also targeting Autodesk, the company behind the Autocad programs.

According to Reuters, the verdict pronounced by the Texas jury will force Microsoft and Autodesk to pay David Colvin, the founder of z4 Technologies, $133 million.

The Redmond company has the largest sum, $115 million, while Autodesk has ‘only’ $18 million.

Microsoft continues to claim that it hasn’t infringed any patents, since the product activation technologies had been developed before z4 Technologies filed the patent.

"While we are disappointed with this verdict, we continue to contend that there was no infringement of any kind and that the facts in this case show that Microsoft developed its own product activation technologies well before z4 Technologies filed for its patent," Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said in an e-mail sent to Reuters.

Microsoft is currently involved in another lawsuit, which targets the Xbox 360 console. Lucent set this in motion on March 28 at U.S. District Court in San Diego and requested a relief injunction and unspecified damages. The patent Lucent alleges it has been stolen is linked to the console’s ability to decode MPEG-2 files.

Ted.

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