In April, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) awarded $133 million to Michigan-based, z4 Technologies in a patent dispute with Microsoft and Autodesk. z4 sued the two software companies claiming they infringed two patents relating to z4`s anti-piracy technology. The jury awarded $115 million for Microsoft`s infringement, and $18 million for Autodesk`s infringement. Microsoft was found to be a willful infringer. The Court has yet to rule on z4`s request for attorney fees and enhanced damages.
Microsoft`s popular Windows operating system and Office software, and Autodesk's AutoCAD software, were found to infringe the z4 patents. The jury rejected the defendants` contention that z4`s patents were invalid. The jury deliberated until 12:15 am when the verdict was rendered.
In May, Autodesk stipulated to a permanent injunction, agreeing to change the manner in which its software operates to avoid future infringement. In June, the District Court denied z4`s request for a permanent injunction to stop Microsoft`s continued infringement, citing the Supreme Court`s recent eBay v. Mercexchange ruling. The Court permitted Microsoft to continue selling its infringing products, but required Microsoft to account to z4 in follow-on suit for future damages.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is an intellectual property law firm based in Southfield, Michigan and with offices throughout the nation. Founded in 1983 by five intellectual property attorneys, Brooks Kushman has grown significantly, gaining a reputation both nationally and internationally as a leader in cutting-edge, timely, and cost-effective IP counsel. For more information, please visit https://brookslaw.wpengine.com.