Microsoft is defending itself in a $90 million lawsuit as PalTalk Holdings accuses the software giant of infringing on two key patents.
Microsoft had previously attempted to forgo a full trial and moved for partial summary judgment on the matter, yet its plea was rejected as it could not come up with enough convincing evidence.
A Texas Jury was told on Monday that PalTalk had acquired two key patents for technology which had been developed by MPath Interactive.
PalTalk’s lawyer Max Tribble told the Jury that Microsoft is unlawfully copying that MPath tech, alleging that the Halo franchise, as well as both Xbox consoles, use patented technology for interactive applications over multiple computers.
When such patents belonged to MPath, Microsoft had “many meetings” with the company, the Jury heard.
“Microsoft found the technology to be very valuable,” Tribble said, adding that MPath was “a pioneer in the online video industry in the area of real-time, multiplayer online games.”
Microsoft lawyer David Pritikin expressed to the Jury that PalTalk acquired the MPath patents (5,822,523 and 6,266,686) for less than $200,000. “The patents aren’t worth much,” he said. “Certainly not $90 million.”
Pritikin confirmed that Microsoft had previously reviewed the MPath technology in question, but claims the company chose to go down a different route. The MPath technology is reportedly based on old dial-up net communications, which distinguishes it from the way Halo games play, Pritikin said.
“Microsoft decided to go in another direction and work with another company,” he added. “Obviously, this was upsetting to PalTalk and its employees.”
The trial continues.