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AT&T Corp. v. Microsoft Corp.

2006年5月1日 評論已關閉

The New York Times, Sec. C, Col. 6, Business/Financial Desk, P. 4 (April 25, 2006)

此專利糾紛牽涉到一項改善網際網路語音傳輸的技術。早在 20 年前即已開發出這項技術,而且是全球行動電話標準的一部分。AT&T 表示,在未經其許可之下,微軟在 Windows® 作業系統上的 NetMeeting® 和 TrueSpeech® 兩項應用程式上使用到這項技術。

美國最高法院上週要求布希政府協助決定是否要審理 Microsoft (微軟) 與 AT&T 之間的專利糾紛。在決定是否要審理上訴案件時,最高法院通常會聽取行政部門的意見。這個要求代表著最高法院的法官可能對下級法院的裁決 (AT&T Corp. v. Microsoft Corp., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3340 (S.D.N.Y. 2004); AT&T Corp. v. Microsoft Corp., 414 F.3d 1366, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2005)) 存有疑問。先前的判決認定微軟應基於安裝在國外電腦上的微軟視窗作業系統內的電腦程式拷貝支付權利金給 AT&T;。聯邦巡迴上訴法院 (CAFC) 認為,電腦程式拷貝屬於美國專利相關法規的管轄範圍。

敗訴之後,微軟向最高法院提出上訴,試圖減輕電腦軟體業者將產品銷售到美國境外而牽涉到專利訴訟時所承受的損失。微軟認為,軟體程式碼不受專利法規**禁止在未經專利權人許可下輸出受專利保護發明的約束,並且在訴書中提到:「對美國軟體產業而言,本案突顯出非常重要且持續出現的問題」;下級法院的判決「大大地擴張了電腦軟體專利在美國境外的影響範圍」。

**: 35 U.S.C. 271(f) —
(1) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention, where such components are uncombined in whole or in part, in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.
(2) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States any component of a patented invention that is especially made or especially adapted for use in the invention and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, where such component is uncombined in whole or in part, knowing that such component is so made or adapted and intending that such component will be combined outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.

AT&T 力促最高法院不要審理此案,並強調:「微軟所採取的立場違反了 30 年來的專利司法體系、軟體業界的商業模式以及微軟自己的專利佈局」。

Categories: 時事分析報導, 美國專利法 Tags:
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