Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ Sued Over Excel Data-Linking

Filed under

Microsoft Corp. illegally took technology used to link spreadsheet data between two of its programs from a Guatemalan inventor, lawyers said during opening statements at a jury trial that started on Tuesday.

Carlos Armando Amado said in a lawsuit that he filed for a patent in 1990 for software that links Microsoft's Excel program with its Access database application via a single spreadsheet, and that he unsuccessfully tried to sell it to Microsoft two years later.

Amado is seeking damages that could exceed $500 million in in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Central California.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, began using his software without permission in various versions of Access, such as Access 95, 97, 2000 and 2002, according to Amado, who said he created the technology while he was a graduate student at Stanford University.

The suit did not specify a figure for damages, but Amado's attorneys estimated that it was about $2 per software copy sold, which would equal about half a billion dollars based on the software sold to date.

Joel Freed, Microsoft's attorney, disputed Amado's claims, saying Microsoft started working on such technology in 1989, three years before Amado approached the software giant with his idea.

At issue is a technology that allows computer users to transfer data back and forth between Excel and Access by using a spreadsheet.
Freed said the plaintiff had recreated the data transfer for the courtroom. "It's never happened with anyone outside this courtroom," he said.

Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said the company currently has about 35 other patent infringement suits pending.

The jury trial is expected to last two weeks.


More in Tux Machines

Learning The Linux File System

Before we get started, let’s avoid any confusion. There are two meanings to the term “File System” in the wonderful world of computing: First, there is the system of files and the directory structure that all of your data is stored in. Second, is the format scheme that is used to write data on mass storage devices like hard drives and SSD’s. We are going to be talking about the first kind of file system here because the average user will interact with his or her file system every time they use a computer, the format that data is written in on their storage devices is usually of little concern to them. The many different file systems that can be used on storage is really only interesting to hardware geeks and is best saved for another discussion. Now that that’s cleared up, we can press on. (Read the rest at Freedom Penguin)

today's howtos

Red Hat and Fedora

FreeNAS 10 Enters Alpha, Brings Lots of New Technologies, Based on FreeBSD 10.2

FreeNAS' Jordan Hubbard was proud to announce the other day, October 8, the release and immediate availability for download of the first Alpha build of the upcoming FreeNAS open source Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution. Read more