Microsoft Wins Patent Reversal, Loses Board Member

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Two bits of Microsoft news:

The company won an appeals court ruling, which overturns a $358 million patent award won by Alcatel Lucent, a telecom equipment company. The decision may alter how damages are calculated, Bloomberg reports:

The patent covers a touch-screen form entry. Microsoft said it’s simply a “date-picker” function that isn’t utilized with e-mail, the most popular use for its Outlook program. Alcatel describes it as a pop-up tool for form-filing that “plays a central role in the entire operation” of Outlook.

Alcatel, based in Paris, argued it was entitled to 8 per cent of the total revenue from Outlook sales, or $685 million, calling it “a small fraction” of the more than $8 billion Microsoft has collected from 110 million copies of Outlook sold.

Microsoft said the invention was worth, at most, $6.5 million because the feature isn’t used in e-mail and is just one of many tools that could be used in the calendar function of Outlook.

Meanwhile, Microsoft board member James Cash announced he would retire from the board, “stepping down due to increasing pressure on his time from other professional and personal commitments.”

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