Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Microsoft Wins IP case over Activation Software

Case Filed: Oct 01, 2013        
Case Closed: May 02, 2014

Court: Delaware District Court

Judge: Sue L. Robinson

Case Summary:
Plano, Texas-based Computer Software Protection (CSP) filed a complaint against Microsoft claiming that the company has violated its patent rights. CSP alleged that Microsoft infringed upon a patent describing a system for controlling the distribution of licensed software. The patent in suit is US6460140 entitled ‘System for controlling the use of licensed software,’ originally issued on Oct 01, 2002 and expiring[i] by Dec 30, 2019. The patent is currently assigned[ii] to Starnet Communications (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.) CSP is the exclusive licensee of the ‘140 patent, said the court document.

The patent relates to a system allowing the software publisher to control copying of the software it licenses to preclude users from giving away "free" copies to others.

According to the complaint, Microsoft infringed one or more claims of the ‘140 patent by making, using, offering to sell, selling or importing into the United States products that utilize product activation software. The accused product cited was Microsoft Windows XP.
CSP demanded court to declare the case an exceptional and award pre and post judgment interest, costs and compulsory ongoing licensing fee.

The case is concluded as CSP filed a notice of voluntary dismissal, pursuant to which the court ordered dismissal of claims against Microsoft without prejudice.

See 1:13-cv-01638 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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