Microsoft settles patents case

Software giant Microsoft has agreed to pay $440m to settle a legal row over its use of anti-piracy patents.

It struck the deal with California based InterTrust Technologies, a maker of software to protect online delivery and payment for films and music.

The agreement comes one week after Microsoft paid $1.6bn to a rival, Sun Microsystems, to end a patents battle.

The deal with InterTrust settles all the outstanding disputes with Microsoft and grants it software licences.

InterTrust, which is part-owned by Sony and Philips, sued Microsoft in 2001 after licensing talks collapsed.

The company accused Microsoft’s new Windows XP program of infringing its patents and demanded damages that, at the time, were expected to run into billions of dollars.

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