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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 1, 2006 at 10:39 AM

Microsoft settles thorny JPEG patent suit

Forgent Networks, the Texas enterprise software company that sued Microsoft and others for infringing on its JPEG patent, today announced that “all of the parties in the cases have reached a settlement.”

Forgent sued companies throughout the tech industry, but Microsoft fought back particularly hard and tried to invalidate Forgent’s patent on the image-compression technology.

But the parties want the details to be kept secret.

“Forgent is precluded from disclosing the terms of the agreement,” the announcement said.

But that didn’t prevent Forgent from providing details in a 10-K report to the SEC filed Monday, however. The filing suggests that Forgent may have settled because things weren’t going its way in the case.

“On June 28, 2006, the Court issued its claims construction ruling, which favored the majority of the defendants’ claims construction. Specifically, the Court ruled the claims to be limited to video. As a result of the unfavorable claims construction ruling, Forgent pursued settlement negotiations with the remaining defendants. On October 25, 2006, Forgent signed a Patent License and Settlement Agreement with the remaining defendants. Under this agreement, Forgent granted the defendants a patent license and the defendants agreed to pay Forgent $8.0 million.”

Microsoft didn’t elaborate, either.

“The parties have resolved the lawsuits on mutually agreeable terms, and we are pleased to have this case behind us,” spokesman Jack Evans said via email.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft

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