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Microsoft Ordered to Pay $242 Million in Patent Infringement Case

 |  May 12, 2024

In a landmark verdict, a federal jury in Delaware ruled on Friday that tech giant Microsoft (MSFT.O) must compensate patent owner IPA Technologies a staggering $242 million. The ruling follows a week-long trial wherein the jury found Microsoft’s Cortana virtual-assistant software to have infringed on an IPA patent.

The jury sided with IPA, asserting that Microsoft’s voice-recognition technology encroached upon IPA’s patent rights in computer-communications software. IPA Technologies, a subsidiary of patent-licensing company Wi-LAN, acquired the patent in question along with others from SRI International’s Siri Inc, the technology that Apple incorporated into its Siri virtual assistant after acquiring Siri Inc in 2010.

Despite the jury’s decision, Microsoft remains resolute in its stance, asserting its innocence and announcing plans to appeal the verdict. A Microsoft spokesperson conveyed, “We remain confident that Microsoft never infringed on IPA’s patents and will appeal.”

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In response to the verdict, representatives for IPA and Wi-LAN did not immediately provide comments.

The lawsuit against Microsoft was initiated by IPA in 2018, alleging patent infringement related to personal digital assistants and voice-based data navigation. Although the case initially involved multiple patents, it was eventually narrowed down to focus on a single IPA patent. Microsoft countered IPA’s claims, arguing against infringement and challenging the validity of the patent.

It’s worth noting that IPA Technologies has pursued similar legal action against other tech giants. Notably, IPA has previously sued Google and Amazon over patent infringement. While Amazon successfully defended itself against IPA’s lawsuit in 2021, the case against Google remains ongoing.

Source: Reuters