Microsoft sued over e-commerce patent
IDG News Service - Online services company Network Commerce Inc. has been awarded a trial date in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. The software giant is accused of using the smaller company's technology in its Windows operating system, Windows Media Player and other products.
Network Commerce, whose top executive is a former general manager at Microsoft, filed the lawsuit Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, said Anne-Marie Savage, a spokeswoman for Network Commerce. It was notified by the court last week that a trial date has been set for September 2003. "It's quite a process with all the discovery," said Savage, explaining the delay.
The suit accuses Microsoft of infringing on a patent for a method for selling software, digital music and digital video over the Internet, Network Commerce said in a statement. Specifically, U.S. Patent No. 6,073,124 describes a system that uses "separate servers and a download component to coordinate the downloading of digital content for online transactions," the company said.
The patent was filed in July 1997 and approved in June 2000, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site. It was issued to ShopNow.com Inc., which Savage said is a former name of Network Commerce.
Seattle-based Network Commerce plans to seek monetary damages, the amount of which has yet to be determined, said Savage.
Microsoft didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
Network Commerce offers a variety of services, including domain name registration, Web hosting and online marketing. None of the firm's current offerings make use of the technology at issue in the lawsuit, although planned future offerings will make use of it, Savage said.
Dwayne Walker, the company's chairman and CEO, held several key positions at Microsoft between 1989 and 1996, according to the Network Commerce Web site. They included general manager of sales and marketing, director of Windows NT and networking products and director of SQL Server and network products.
"I continue to be a shareholder and a fan of [Microsoft]," Walker said in the statement. "But that doesn't change our obligation to defend Network Commerce's rights to its innovative intellectual property. We hope to resolve this legal dispute amicably, perhaps through a licensing arrangement."
Network Commerce said it has a similar suit pending against Liquid Audio Inc. A U.S. court earlier this month declined a motion by Liquid Audio to dismiss the case, according to Network Commerce. Redwood City, Calif.-based Liquid Audio couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
- Amazon settles one-click patent dispute with Barnesandnoble.com, March 7, 2002
- EFI, MIT sue Microsoft, IBM, others over imaging patent, Jan. 2, 2002
- The Shame of Dot-Coms , Aug. 21, 2000
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All E-business White Papers | Webcasts