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Uniloc vs Microsoft

Disclaimer: The following is gathered from public information and does not represent the personal opinion of Mr Ric Richardson. The information supplied is not a legal statement but simply a layman's summary of what has happened in the case in basic terms.
In 2003 Ric Richardson became aware of a possible infringement of the 216 patent by certain Microsoft products. Shortly after this Ric started working with Uniloc management and the firm of Mintz Levin to protect Uniloc's patent rights.

Latest news - current status
25th Feb 2010: At this time Ric is not aware of a date for the appeal however he is informed that Uniloc and Mintz Levin are steadily working towards securing an appeal court date.

The suit
At some time in 2003 Ric Richardson started noticing references to the way Microsoft's Software Activation Technology worked in web page references that related to large corporations that wanted to verify what information was and was not collected during the activation process. In Ric's mind this amounted to reasonable suspicion that Microsoft may be infringing his 216 patent. After that time Ric with the support of his team at Uniloc started working with legal representation to secure representation and file a suit.

Summary Judgement
After some years of preparation and exhaustive discovery Uniloc filed with the court to have their case heard. The judge, who was the judge who heard the eventual case in court decided to deliver summary judgement in favour of Microsoft citing that Uniloc did not have evidence to warrant taking Microsoft to court.
Appeal and reversal of Summary Judgement

As a result of the decision Uniloc appealed the decision and had the matter heard by the appeals court. Uniloc made two requests of the appeal court. Firstly to have the summary judgement reversed and that the judge be recused meaning that we requested that another judge be used to try the case.  The appeal court subsequently overruled the judge and reversed his decision citing that there was material fact submitted in our discovery that warranted a jury trial. However the decision to recuse the judge was not upheld and the same judge who had erroneously given Microsoft summary judgment was to try the case in court. Uniloc submitted in its appeal that the use of a summer intern that had worked at Microsoft may have affected the judges decision in his role as a technical adviser to the judge.

The court case and the Jury Verdict
After some weeks at trial a jury subsequently awarded Uniloc $388 million dollars excluding damages or interest. The jury also decided that the patent infringement was intentional. Under US law it is the judge that determines the damages and level of interest to be paid by the defendant.

The Judges Decision
After some months, the judge made the unusual decision to invoke his special privileges under the US law and reverse the jury verdict giving the case to Microsoft citing the reason that there was not valid evidentiary reason for the jury to reach their decision or for Uniloc to have won the case.

The Appeal
Uniloc fairly quickly decided to appeal this decision and are actively working with the court to secure an appeal court date.
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