Global Computing, Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., No. 05 C 6753, 2007 WL 844618 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 14, 2007) (Hibbler, J.).

Judge Hibbler granted defendant-insurer summary judgment that it had no duty to indemnify or defend plaintiff-insured.  Microsoft brought suit against plaintiff alleging that plaintiff distrbuted counterfeit Microsoft software and used Microsoft logos

The big news in patent law this week is the Supreme Court oral argument in Microsoft v. AT&T.  Microsoft exports software from the United States to various countries.  The software code alone cannot infringe AT&T’s patents until it is combined with the hardware, which only occurs after the software has left the United States.  So, exporting the software is not an act of infringement.  The issue, therefore, is whether, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. Section 271(f), exporting the software constitutes:

suppl[y] . . . from the United States . . . [of] all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention . . . in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States,” as well as the “suppl[y] . . . from the United States [of] any component of a patented invention that is especially made or especially adapted for use in the invention.

For more on the issues, you can find the briefs at Patently-O

The case has received substantial media attention both because it was granted cert and because the case could have effects far beyond the international exportation of software.  The oral arguments were interesting (transcript here) and both the main stream media and blogs are frantically reading the tea leaves.Continue Reading Reading the Tea Leaves: Microsft v. AT&T Oral Arguments