Hide Techdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Court Questions Patent Damages Against Microsoft For Guatemalan Patent Holder

from the more-delays dept

Microsoft has been fighting for years against a Guatemalan patent holder, Carlos Amado, who claims to hold a patent on the concept of linking a database to a spreadsheet. The patent itself has been thoroughly debunked. Even the patent itself admits that it’s merely taken a bunch of concepts that were widely used before and combining them — which is exactly the type of thing that the Supreme Court has said should not be patentable. Microsoft has appealed the ruling, but the Supreme Court turned it down. However, it then appealed the amount of damages, and the appeals court has now thrown out the lower court’s damages based on the fact that it appeared to pick the damages number out of thin air. It seems likely that Microsoft will still have to pay damages for infringement (though, the court also admits that new Supreme Court rulings may impact the amount as well), but the lower court is going to at least have to justify how much Microsoft needs to pay Amado for basically putting such an obvious idea on paper and filing a patent.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: microsoft

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Court Questions Patent Damages Against Microsoft For Guatemalan Patent Holder”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
angry dude says:

Mike's ignorance

Carlos Amado was a Ph.D. Computer Science graduate student at Stanford when he came up with his ideas and filed for patent protection
As far as I remember he offered a licence to Mshit but was told to take a hike
In the meantime Mshit started to use Amado’s ideas in its products right away
The damages awarded were a measly 9 mil of which poor Carlos probably got 30% or even much less (last time I checked his patent was asigned to Acacia, meaning he probablhy had to sell it outright for some very small amount of money)
You should worry about crooked corporate CEOs in America, the upcoming recession, the looming presidential elections, the war on the american middle class etc. etc. etc.
And stop worrying about some poor Guatemalan guy collecting some small money from Mshit – he is still dirt poor by Mshit standards after all
Mshit has thousands of guys and girls who are a lot richer than poor Carlos and they didn’t invent shit
Just leave Carlos alone, OK ?

Angry Dude Impersonator says:

Re: Mike's ignorance

Damnit. Why did you have to go and make life imitate art! I thought even you wouldn’t take that view.

Anyway, it’s people like this guy, and his frivolous patents that are part of what’s nixed America’s economy: We have little manufacturing, right now our economy’s based on technology.

We’ve been systematically dismantling our technological advantage.

Of course the economy blows!

DanC says:

Re: Re:

Angry dude has never let himself be bothered with little things like the truth or common sense.

Carlos Amado has a pHD (angry dude supposedly has one too), and sued angry dude’s favorite ‘big evil’ corporation, and won in court.

Never mind the fact that the patent has plenty of prior art, and is actually just a bundling of other people’s ideas. A ‘little guy’ won against a ‘big guy’, and that’s all that matters in angry dude’s extremely warped world view.

Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll come back and swear at someone in Russian to prove how awesome he is.

Smelly Dude says:

Lest us never forget what it looks like to have a view into angry dude’s future.


BTW- My fav thing that shows up when you google angry dude’s Real Name is at a character artist’s website-

“Additional Skills:
can moan for adult movies too.”

All this from a person with a PHd, Huh?

Stay Classy, Angry Dude. Stay Classy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I like the
Voice Description

Well, I guess can passoff for a guy (or a girl). Its simple, articulate, warm for narrations, sexy, definetly fun for commercials.

Its got a neutralized accent which would standout in presentations and it has the flexibility of the character that it would represent.

Complete with misspelling and all.

Le Blue Dude says:

Re: Mike Masnick, a shepherd of poor techdirt reta

I thought you knew that arguing in this fashion was senseless and useless and you had better things to do?

And, the inventor doesn’t even own the damn patent, as you said. Some other company that he sold it to does. “(last time I checked his patent was asigned[sic] to Acacia, meaning he probablhy[sic] had to sell it outright for some very small amount of money)” So…

Anyway, it’s not a valid patent. And the ‘real’ issues facing the tech industry? The economy’s tanking because we’re not producing as much. We’re not producing as much because companies don’t want to operate here. Companies don’t want to operate here because of this kind of crap.

Tacticalmedic says:

Let's put the shoe on the other foot

Okay, now let’s say that Microsoft developed this, and patented it.
And along comes Carlos Amado, who starts using it without Microsoft’s blessing or permission. Do you think that Microsoft would just let it go? Ask him nicely to cease and desist? Perhaps at first, but when he failed to comply, they would sue the pants off of him.
I say good for Carlos Amado, and I hope he gets what he’s looking for.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Let's put the shoe on the other foot

“now let’s say that Microsoft developed this, and patented it. And along comes Carlos Amado, who starts using it without Microsoft’s blessing or permission. Do you think that Microsoft would just let it go?”

Hell no. We, on the other hand, would be arguing that Microsoft is full of s**t and the patent is still invalid.

So ether way, this patent is invalid and this issue should be dropped by both parties.

Microsoft may be a big “Evil” corporation but they can be on the correct side of the law in some issues. Let’s condemn Microsoft for what it actually does wrong (it does enough already).

Beerman says:

Amado/Amada's great patent

So where can I buy his product so I can get my databases going again? I haven’t been able to turn everyone on to Access but they are still comfortable with Excel. Cough it up, buddy. I lost a lot or rep when Microsoft’s service pack came down the pipe.

Or is it that all you wanted to was prove your patent and run with the money?

Mike Brisendine says:

Amado/Amada's great Patent

I agree with Beerman…where is the code and how can I get it.

Lawyers make a ton of money by patenting ideas and I don’t think ideas should have patents. Processes and Implementation can be patented but ideas…please… As brilliant as Amada was, he can’t possibly think he’s the only one or even the first to think it might be nice to sync data between access and excel. I know everyone hates microsoft but this guy was a gold digger.

Frank Humperdink (user link) says:

You do not know what you are talking about

What angry dude is telling is true… Mr. Amado proved in court that he spent time with M$ engineers with the aid of invoices and tickets when M$ was denying it. He developed a product called Integra, that combined spreadsheet functionality with database storage. The product never came to light because Mr. Amado ran out of money to market it. He is a PHD from Stanford, indeed.

Please just check this out. You will notice a typical M$ behavior pattern.



Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...