Microsoft, Apple Sued over Software-Updating Tech

By Matthew Hicks  |  Print this article Print


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The two operating-system makers are accused of infringing on a patent for Web-based software updates, while Microsoft is also hit with a claim over its active windows and offline browsing technologies in Windows.

Microsoft and Apple are being sued for patent infringement over the use of Web-based software-updating technology.

London-based intellectual-property company BTG Plc. announced Tuesday that it has filed suit against the companies in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

BTG alleges that Apple's and Microsoft's operating systems, as well as Microsoft's Office application suite, incorporate technologies covered by U.S. Patent No. 6,557,054, granted in April 2003.

In a separate lawsuit in the same federal court, BTG subsidiary BTG International Inc. also sued Microsoft for patent-infringement over its active windows and offline browsing technologies in Windows.

BTG International, of West Conshohocken, Pa., accuses Microsoft of infringing on three U.S. patents dating from September 2000 to December 2003. They are patent Nos. 6,125,388, 6,611,862 and 6,658,464.

Neither officials from Microsoft nor from Apple could be immediately reached for comment.

Click here to read about Microsoft's FAT patent, which is under review.

In both lawsuits, BTG is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and an injunction against future use of the technologies. The company said in a statement that the lawsuits resulted from Microsoft and Apple not "entering into licensing agreements on commercially reasonable terms."

BTG said it holds a license to all of the patents from owner Teleshuttle Technologies LLC. Teleshuttle Technologies and parent company Teleshuttle Corp. are also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuits.

Richard Reisman, the inventor named on the patents, is the president of New York-based Teleshuttle, which calls itself a developer of e-media and e-business technology and a provider of consulting services.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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