A U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has sent a case back to the lower court that awarded damages to reconsider those damages. The lower court had ruled the Microsoft Corporation had infringed the patent spreadsheet of its Guatemalan inventor, Carlos Armando Amado, in its Office Suite applications.
The lower court had awarded $.12 per copy to Amado but had not adequately explained how it arrived at the award or calculated it. At trial a jury ruled that Amado held the patent that links databases and spreadsheets, and that Microsoft had infringed it, awarding Amado $.04 per copy of Microsoft Office sold with the infringing software application. Upon appeal, the lower U.S. District Court tripled the damages to $.12 per copy sold.
Microsoft appealed again, and asked for damages at $.04 per copy; Amado asked for damages of $2.00 per copy. The Court of Appeals did not rule on the proper amount of damages, but sent the case back to the lower court, indicating that the damages should be “somewhere between $.04 and $2.00 per copy.”
And that’s no small award.
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