Jury finds Corel willfully infringed Microsoft Office patents

By Gene Quinn
February 13, 2018

Jury finds Corel willfully infringed Microsoft Office patentsEarlier today, a jury from the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) awarded Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) a total of $278,000 in a patent infringement action against Corel Corporation and Corel, Inc. (collectively Corel). See Microsoft Corporation v. Corel Corporation et al (Case: 5:15-cv-05836-EJD). Microsoft had requested more than $1 million in damages for the infringement of patents related to Microsoft Office (i.e., the Microsoft Office patents).

Microsoft sued Corel in December 2015, asserting infringement of nine patents — 5 utility patents and four design patents. By the time the case was submitted to the jury on Friday, February 9, 2018, only six patents remained in the case: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,255,828 (“the ’828 patent”), 7,703,036 (“the ’036 patent”) and design U.S. Patent Nos. D550,237 (“the D’237 patent”), D554,140 (“the D’140 patent”), D564,532 (“the D’532 patent”), and D570,865 (“the D’865 patent,”).

Microsoft argued that Corel willfully infringed the ’828, ’036, ’237, ’140, ’532, and ’865 patents. The asserted Microsoft patents are directed to graphic user interfaces used in Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office. Microsoft asserted that it has given its interfaces, including menus and toolbars, a distinctive look and feel, which Corel copied into the accused products, including WordPerfect X7. WordPerfect X7 even includes an option to use the product in the “Microsoft Word mode.” See Complaint para 3-5. Similarly, Quatro Pro X7 offers the option to use the product in the “Microsoft Excel mode.” See Complaint para. 6-8.

In the jury verdict form returned, the jury unanimously agreed that Corel had willfully infringed the ’828, ’036, ’237, ’140, ’532, and ’865 patents.

At trial Microsoft also claimed to have provided actual notice prior to filing of the complaint, in November of 2009, during a call with Corel. Microsoft had the burden of establishing that it is more probable than not Corel received actual notice of infringement of the ’237, ’532, or ’865 design patents on that date. The jury found that relative to each patent Microsoft had not proved that Corel received notice prior to the filing of the patent infringement lawsuit.

Judge Edward Davilla entered the Minute Order and Trial Log, which concludes the trial. Judge Davilla ordered the parts to meet to confer regarding issues remaining post-verdict. He set a deadline of March 2, 2018, by which the parties will submit a status report and/or stipulation regarding the need for any briefing as relating to JMOL (Judgment as a Matter of Law) and damages. Upon review a determination will be made with respect to the need for a further hearing.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. Night Writer February 13, 2018 6:26 pm

    Wow. Willful infringement of flagship products and a peppercorn in damages.

  2. Pro Se February 13, 2018 7:06 pm

    I’ve done settlements bigger than that in this AIA culture.. wow, did legal recoup?

  3. Roger Heath February 14, 2018 10:26 am

    (Obscure reference)

    P. Potamus for Microsoft, “Did you get that thing I sent you?”.