Microsoft $358 million fine dismissed

US Court of Appeals says that patent damages award were not justified
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Microsoft has seen a substantial damages claim against it overturned by a Court of Appeal, which said that the claims “were not justified and must be retried.”

According to Reuters, the $358 million had been awarded to French telecoms equipment specialist Alcatel after it claimed that Microsoft infringed patents relating to software used in its Outlook email programme.

Although the Appeals Court acknowledged that Microsoft had been indirect violation of the copyright, it felt that the evidence was not substantial enough to justify the heavy penalty.

“Because the damages award based on the infringing date-picker feature of Outlook is not supported by substantial evidence and is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence, the damages award must be vacated,” stated the court.

“We are pleased that the court vacated the damages award, and we look forward to taking the next step in the judicial process,” commented Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz.