When it comes to software patents, Microsoft says it doesn’t want to go anywhere
Microsoft is planning to file an “emergency patent filing” next week that could cause a delay to the launch of a major new Microsoft operating system, according to sources familiar with the matter.
In a filing last month with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Microsoft said it expects to file “an emergency patent filing on May 18, 2019” in response to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which upheld the US government’s ban on the sale of the Microsoft Operating System (MOS) in November 2015.
The filing also said Microsoft will be seeking a preliminary injunction to block the USPTO from granting the patent “in whole or in part,” or to delay the effective date of the US patent.
In the filing, Microsoft also noted that it will seek an extension of time for patent owners to file claims, including claims for “inventories,” to provide time for Microsoft to evaluate claims and determine if Microsoft has violated the US PTO’s ban.
“We expect to file the patent filing to address some of the issues raised in the Court’s ruling and, if necessary, to prevent further delays in the launch and commercialization of MOS,” the filing said.
It added that Microsoft is preparing for a possible ruling from the US Circuit Court of Appeal.
“At this time, we are not seeking a delay in the MOS launch, but we will review the Court of appeals decision,” Microsoft said.
In an interview with Recode, Microsoft vice president of corporate development Steve Wozniak said Microsoft would take “appropriate action” to respond to the “emerge” filing.
“This is an emergency filing and we are going to respond in a timely fashion,” Woz said.
“We are going get it right.”
In December 2015, a USPTR ruling overturned the government’s prohibition on selling the Microsoft operating systems, in part because of a patent claim filed by Microsoft on the process for creating an application for a new Microsoft software product.
Microsoft appealed that ruling and the case was eventually sent back to the Federal Register, where a federal appeals court ruled that the US federal patent office should not issue a preliminary patent ruling.
The ruling said that the Patent Office’s initial decision to deny a patent application was “unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious and capriciously abusive.”
The decision came after the US appeals court in August 2016 said Microsoft’s patents violated the Patent Act and that Microsoft was not entitled to compensation for its infringement.
Microsoft said in a statement to Recode that it is “committed to addressing the issues that led to the court’s ruling,” and that it plans to “conduct a thorough analysis of the court ruling” and “exercise all reasonable efforts to respond as expeditiously as possible.”
Microsoft said that while the company is committed to being a leader in software innovation, the US ruling “does not resolve our concerns over whether our patents are valid.”
“We are confident that the court will rule in our favor, and that we will be able to continue to deliver our innovative products and services to our customers without delay,” Microsoft added.
“The US PTF filed an emergency patent on May 16, 2019, to address these issues, but given the extraordinary volume of patent applications we have received over the past year, we do not believe it will be possible to fully resolve them before the US Federal Court of Federal Claims issues its decision on the merits of the claims.”
Read the full story at Recode.