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Is infringment of patent in abroad liable to claim damages in the country…. ? March 7, 2007

Posted by mais in Litigations, Patent, software.
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This is the question .. going to be decided by US SC in july 2007, while hearing Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp., 05-1056 case.

In a long-running case between Microsoft and AT&T, AT&T had been able to secure favorable judgments from lower federal courts.

In this case, Microsoft has accepted the infringement of an AT&T patent in US but disputed the infringement of the patent in overseas markets.

The patent is related to technology that converts speech into computer code, so the speech can be transmitted electronically. It accused Microsoft Corp. of infringing the patent by including similar capabilities in its Windows software.

AT&T has cited the provision of US patent law, which restricts the export or infringed products from country. It says by incorporating the infringed technology in windows and selling it overseas Microsoft has violated the said provision and hence liable for the damages.

Microsoft, has pleaded that it is exporting only the “master copy” of the software and said feature has been added by computer  manufacturers in the foreign markets.

AT&T  protested the idea of “master version” of the software and argued that Microsoft has collected the royalty on the infringing software sold in the overseas markets, hence it is liable for the damages for the infringement in  overseas markets.

US Supreme Court is expected to deliver its judgment on the issues in july 2007.

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