Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

US Verdict Hits Microsoft With $242 Million in Cortana Patent Lawsuit

Published: May 18, 2024
(Image: A Microsoft logo is seen next to a cloud in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo)

A federal jury in Delaware ruled on May 10 that Microsoft must pay patent owner IPA Technologies $242 million, after determining that Microsoft’s Cortana virtual-assistant software infringed an IPA patent.

After a week-long trial, the jury agreed with IPA that Microsoft’s voice-recognition technology violates IPA’s patent rights in computer-communications software.

Jointly owned by Canadian technology company Quarterhill and two investment firms, IPA is a subsidiary of patent-licensing company Wi-LAN. The company bought the patent and others from SRI International’s Siri Inc, which Apple acquired in 2010 and whose technology it used in its Siri virtual assistant.

“We remain confident that Microsoft never infringed on IPA’s patents and will appeal,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

In 2018 IPA filed the lawsuit accusing Microsoft of infringing patents, related to personal digital assistants and voice-based data navigation.

The case was later narrowed to concern only one IPA patent, and Microsoft argued that the patent is invalid and that it did not commit anything illegal.

IPA has also sued Google and Amazon over its patents. While Amazon defeated IPA’s lawsuit in 2021, the Google case is still ongoing.

Representatives for IPA and Wi-LAN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the verdict.

Reuters contributed to the report.