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Judge Accuses Microsoft Of Courtroom Shenanigans In Ongoing Xbox Live Suit

Judge Accuses Microsoft Of Courtroom Shenanigans In Ongoing Xbox Live Suit

July 2, 2009 | By Kris Graft

July 2, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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After nearly five years of litigation, Microsoft is still butting heads with patent holders who filed suit against the Xbox house for patent infringement -- and a U.S. District Court Judge is getting cranky.

In 2004, Peter A. Hochstein and Jeffrey Tenenbaum filed suit against Microsoft and Sony, accusing the companies of infringing on the 1994 patent, "Apparatus and method for electrically connecting remotely located video games." The pair said Microsoft and Sony infringed on the patent with Xbox Live and Sony's gaming network, now known as PlayStation Network.

Sony settled out of court in April this year, according to a report on the video game patent specialist site Patent Arcade, but Microsoft is still a defendant in the case.

Now, a U.S. District Court judge has accused Microsoft lawyers of courtroom shenanigans that he said were intended to delay proceedings.

In May this year, Judge Paul D. Borman denied Microsoft's lawyers a request to submit case documents and reports after an October 2008 discovery deadline. Borman also called out Microsoft counsel for providing the plaintiff this year with over 140,000 marketing documents with no index, with little time before the June trial was to kick off.

Borman wrote in a court filing that the plaintiff requested the marketing documents on February 13, and on March 23, "Microsoft began to roll out, over a period of eight days, 143,733 documents in response..." Separately, Borman also said Microsoft wasted the court's and the parties' time by disputing a typographical error that read "2008" instead of "2009".

"This misconduct will be the subject of a separate Court Order directing Microsoft to explain why its counsel should not be sanctioned under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 for unreasonably and exatiously multiplying the proceedings," the judge said.

Borman ordered Microsoft to provide the plaintiffs with an index for the volumes of marketing documents, and said Microsoft is barred from using those documents against the plaintiffs.


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