In April of 2009, a federal jury in the District of Rhode Island determined that Microsoft Corp. had infringed U.S. Patent Number 5,490,216 (the ‘216 patent). Accordingly, the jury found that Microsoft owed $388 Million in damages to Uniloc USA, Inc. and Uniloc Singapore Private Limited, who held rights in the ‘216 patent.  For a general article on this case, click here.

Given that an asserted patent such as the‘216 patent can be subject to a wide variety of attacks during litigation, when such patents survive litigation and are found to be infringed, they may point to good examples of claim drafting — especially when enormously large amounts of damages were at stake. 

The ‘216 patent is entitled “SYSTEM FOR SOFTWARE REGISTRATION” and, as the name suggests, involves a software registration system which prevents use of unauthorized copies of software.  More specifically, the system only allows the software to run if a proper licensing procedure has been followed.

In this regard, the ‘216 patent, which includes both system and method claims, may be instructive, particularly with regard to claiming computer-related types of inventions which often involve system aspects as well as the related methods for using such systems.  U.S. Patent Number 5,490,216 can be found here.

Sebastian Ohanian contributed to this Entry.