Another software patent that is. It pleases me on several levels – first, another case was thrown out of those idiotic west Texas courts (someone should sue THEM!).
Second, it is a software patent. Even though I have one of them pending (was filed for a previous employer), I hope it is denied. Software patents hurt everyone. Much deeper topic there. Maybe I’ll post more on it another time.
Third – it is a stupid claim. The patent is so obvious – and there is prior art – that it just didn’t deserve to get a patent in the first place.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, charged Microsoft with infringing on U.S. patent 5933639, which was issued in 1999 to Acceleration Software International Corp. The suit asked the court to award the patent holder US$2.50 per copy of Windows XP sold in the U.S. By Microsoft’s account, that could have amounted to $600 million to $900 million. Microsoft argued that there are many ways to improve the boot speed of PCs and that XP uses different technology than that in the patent. The jury found that Microsoft did not infringe on the patent and that the patent is invalid because it was obvious and because the technology already existed. In addition, the judge is still considering Microsofts assertion that the patent holder wrongfully withheld information about the existing technology when filing for the patent. Acacia, a company that buys patents and defends them in court, is behind the suit. Acacia bought the patent and formed a company called Computer Acceleration Corp., which filed the action against Microsoft.