Microsoft Ordered to Pay $242 Million in Patent Infringement Case Over Cortana Voice-Assistant Technology

Microsoft has been hit with a $242 million US verdict in a Cortana patent lawsuit and will now have to pay patent owner IPA Technologies. A federal jury in Delaware ruled that Microsoft’s Cortana virtual-assistant software infringed on an IPA patent.

Microsoft Faces $242 Million Penalty in Cortana Patent Lawsuit Verdict

The federal jury in Delaware on Friday agreed with IPA Technologies’ contention that Microsoft’s voice-recognition technology had contravened IPA’s patent rights in computer-communications software.

IPA Technologies is a subsidiary of patent-licensing company Wi-LAN, which itself is owned jointly by Canadian Technology Company Quarterhill and two other investment companies. IPA had purchased the patent and others from SRI International’s Siri Inc. Siri Inc. was purchased by Apple in 2010, and its technology is incorporated in its Siri virtual assistant.

Cortana is a virtual assistant that is operated by voice control, much akin to the virtual assistant from Apple Siri and Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Microsoft has since ceased the operation of the Cortana app for Windows 11, iOS, and Android. It also stopped support for Cortana in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms.

However, a Microsoft spokesperson said,

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

Both IPA and Wi-LAN were not available for their comments. IPA instituted the lawsuit in 2018 and charged Microsoft with infringing its patents about personal digital assistants and voice-based data navigation. The lawsuit was later narrowed down to one IPA patent. Microsoft contended that it does not infringe and that the patent is invalid.

Microsoft was not the only tech company slapped with a lawsuit. IPA has also sued tech giants Google and Amazon for infringing its patents. Amazon won its case in 2021, and the Google case is still ongoing.

The legal wrangling between IPA Technologies and Microsoft over the Cortana patent infringement is also being seen as a financial setback for giant Apple. The decision to award a hefty USD 242 million to IPA Technologies also brings to the forefront the importance of patent disputes in the tech sector.

The trial, which lasted for a week, went in favor of IPA and ruled that Microsoft had contravened IPA’s patent rights on its voice recognition technology for computer communication software. The latest case is also a classic example of how extended legal battles can happen in intellectual property laws and technological advancements.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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