Sunday, 17 July 2011

Software Rights Archive V/s Microsoft - Another Software Patent Litigation

Software Rights Archive LLC has struck again ! Microsoft has been sued by Software Rights Archive for willful and deliberate patent infringement. [Details: here]

Many would remember that Software Rights Archive had filed a patent infringement suit against Google, Yahoo, IAC Search and Media, AOL and Lycos on November 21, 2007. The asserted patents were US5544352 (the '352 patent), US5832494 (the '494 patent) and US6233571 (the '571 patent). 

This time they have targeted another internet giant, Microsoft, which in turn has been very busy with its ongoing legal battle against Android. The lawsuit has been filed on July 15, 2011 in the Washington Western District Court. In the time between Software Rights Archive last lawsuit and the current one, it has been granted another patent US7840524 (the '524 patent), entitled "Method and apparatus for indexing, searching and displaying data" on November 23, 2010 by the USPTO.

The last lawsuit had generated a lot of action outside the court also. [Read about Mr. Frenkel's blog - TrollTracker]. A lot of question were raised about ownership and nature of business of Software Rights Archive. Mr Frenkel had analyzed the assignment history of the '352 patent, the '494 patent and the '571 patent and concluded based on his analysis that Software Rights Archive was a shell company of Altitude Capital Partners. Many people on the Internet had also suggested that Software Rights Archive was funded by Eno River Capital.

I would like to bring to the notice of the readers that all the above mentioned patents are from the same family. The '524 patent is a divisional of the '571 patent, which is a divisional of the '494 patent, which is a continuation-in-part of the '352 patent. 

Few Diagrams from the above patents:

The tide has changed and now Microsoft has to save itself and prove its innocence in the court. So do you think that Microsoft is infringing these patents? More importantly, is Software Rights Archive a patent troll? 

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