Microsoft penalized $25 Million for overwhelming court

By Justin Mann on August 23, 2006, 9:43 PM
Sometimes it doesn't pay to play dirty, and it seems Microsoft has recently seen an example of that as they were stung with a $25 Million fine on top of an existing $115 Million fine to a small company named Z4. For patent infringement, Microsoft was ordered to reimburse the company. Through excess decoys in court, it seems Microsoft (or so the judge claims) was attempting to circumvent the fine, by somehow getting the courts to believe the patents owned by Z4 were unenforceable. The court disagreed to the strongest degree:

"The court concludes that defendants attempted to bury the relevant 107 exhibits admitted at trial in its voluminous 3,449 marked exhibits in the hope that they could conceal their trial evidence in a massive pile of decoys," Davies wrote. "This type of trial tactic is not only unfair to z4, but creates unnecessary work on the court staff and is confusing and potentially misleading to the jury."
Courts are already blamed for being exceedingly slow, and the last thing a judge will want to deal with is a needle-in-a-haystack type of game. I can only imagine what the courtroom looked like piles upon piles of printed emails, booklets, stacks of CDs... 3,499 in all. It would have been great.




User Comments: 3

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zephead said:
haha serves 'em right
smtkr said:
Let's take this over to /. and start a war over the validity of software patents.
atk spade said:
that is pennies to them.
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