[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Microsoft wins AT&T patent battle
Microsoft chief Bill Gates
The case was about Windows-based computers made outside the US
Microsoft has won a long-running case in the US Supreme Court about the reach of US patent laws.

The court ruled that Microsoft was not liable in a software patent dispute involving US telecoms operator AT&T.

AT&T had sued Microsoft, alleging computers using Microsoft's Windows operating system had breached its patent in voice compression software.

Microsoft accepted patent violations in the US, but argued the infringement should not be extended internationally.

The presumption that United States law governs domestically but does not rule the world applies with particular force in patent law
US Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

AT&T had said it should be entitled to damages for all Windows-based computers manufactured outside of the US.

But in a 7-1 ruling, the US Supreme Court backed Microsoft's position.

Patent protection

Analysts said the decision could affect other lawsuits against Microsoft and potentially save the company billions of dollars because of the size of its global operations.

"The presumption that United States law governs domestically but does not rule the world applies with particular force in patent law," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

According to the judges, an earlier ruling by the federal appeals court had gone too far and helped to build up a period of patent protection.

The judges ruled that the appeal court applied its test in a way that was too narrow and too rigid.

Shares in Microsoft rose on the news, climbing by 1% to $30.34 on the US Nasdaq exchange.




SEE ALSO
Microsoft patent row rumbles on
21 Feb 07 |  Business
Microsoft fixes 20 security holes
14 Feb 07 |  Technology
Microsoft at the crossroads
08 Feb 07 |  Business
Microsoft sued on 'patent breach'
22 Nov 06 |  Business
Green light for big telecoms deal
07 Sep 06 |  Business
Microsoft wins AT&T appeal chance
27 Oct 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific