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Microsoft Corporation v. AT&T Corporation
No. 05-1056
    Microsoft Corporation v. AT&T Corp.


    Title 35 U.S.C. section 271(f)(1) provides that it is an act of direct patent infringement to "suppl[y]... from the United States ... components of a patented invention ... in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States." In this case, AT&T Corp. alleges that when Microsoft Corporation's Windows software is installed on a personal computer, the programmed computer infringes AT&T's patent for a "Digital Speech Coder" system. AT&T sought damages not only for each Windows-based computer made or sold in the United States, but also, under Section 271(f)(1), for each computer made and sold abroad. Extending Section 271(f)and consequently, the extraterritorial application of U.S. patent lawthe Federal Circuit held that Microsoft infringed under Section 271(f)(1) when it exported master versions of its Windows software code to foreign computer manufacturers, who then copied the software code and installed the duplicate versions on foreign-manufactured computers that were sold only to foreign consumers. The questions presented are:

    1. Whether digital software codean intangible sequence of "1's" and "0's"may be considered a "component[] of a patented invention" within the meaning of Section 271(f)(1); and, if so,
    2. Whether copies of such a "component[]" made in a foreign country are "supplie [d] . . . from the United States."



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Counsel of Record

For Petitioner Microsoft Corp.:

Theodore B. Olson
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Washington, DC
For Respondent AT&T Corp.:
Seth P. Waxman
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP
Washington, DC

Stephen C. Neal
Cooley Godward LLP
Palo Alto, CA 94306


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