Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ fined $9 million for patent infringement

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $9 million for infringing a spreedsheet patent with Excel.

The jury in a Californian court awarded $8.96 million to Guatemalan inventor Carlos Amado who had sued the software giant for infringing his patent on software for linking Microsoft's Excel and Access applications through a single spreadsheet.

Amado filed for a patent on the technology in 1990 and approached Microsoft with it in 1992, said Amado's attorney, Vincent Belusko. The first infringing versions of the software appeared in 1995. Amado had sought about $400 million.

The verdict on Monday covered damages up to 31 July 2003. The court now has to consider damages from August 2003 to the present, but the additional amount will probably be less than what has already been awarded, according to Belusko.

"He wanted to be validated that this was his idea, that someone took it. I think he feels validated," Belusko said.

Microsoft said it was reviewing the verdict and other matters related to the case. "Microsoft began developing this technology as early as 1989. It was developed by our own engineers based on our own pre-existing technology," a spokesman claimed.

By Stephen Lawson,
IDG News Service

More in Tux Machines

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software

Pithos 1.2

  • New Version of Linux Pandora Client ‘Pithos’ Released
    A new release of open-source Linux Pandora client Pithos is now available for download.
  • Pithos 1.2 Improves The Open-Source/Linux Pandora Desktop Experience
    Chances are if you've ever dealt with Pandora music streaming from the Linux desktop you've encountered Pithos as the main open-source solution that works out quite well. Released today was Pithos 1.2 and it ships with numerous enhancements for this GPLv3-licensed Pandora desktop client. Pithos 1.2 adds a number of new keyboard shortcuts for the main window, initial support for translations, an explicit content filter option, reduced CPU usage with Ubuntu's default theme, redesigned dialogs and other UI elements, and more.

OPNsense 16.7

  • OPNsense 16.7 released
  • pfSense/m0n0wall-Forked OPNsense 16.7 Released
    The latest major release is out of OPNsense, a BSD open-source firewall OS project derived from pfSense and m0n0wall. OPNsense 16.7 brings NetFlow-based reporting and export, trafic shaping support, two-factor authentication, HTTPS and ICAP support in the proxy server, and UEFI boot and installation modes.