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Sep122009

Microsoft Outlook’s $358m patent verdict overturned

An appeals court overturned a $358 million verdict against Microsoft in a case that was closely watched as a gauge of the way damages’ll be determined in future patent cases. In a 64-page opinion (PDF) the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the jury’s finding that Microsoft Outlook’s “date-picker” feature infringed on an Alcatel-Lucent patent. However, it determined that the jury overestimated the significance of the feature in Outlook in the process of calculating the size of the award. “In short, Outlook is an enormously complex software program comprising hundreds, if not thousands or even more, features,” the court wrote. “We find it inconceivable to conclude, based on the present record, that the use of one small feature, the date-picker, constitutes a substantial portion of the value of Outlook,” reports.

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