Microsoft may have to pull its Office suite from the shelves in South Korea as a result of losing a patent lawsuit in that country, according to published reports. Several news outlets reported Monday that a South Korean Supreme Court ruling on Friday refused a request from Microsoft that patents obtained by Hankuk Aviation University professor Lee Keung-Haie in 1997 be nullified.
The decision strengthens the case of Lee and the company acting as his agent, called P and IB, which filed for damages against Microsoft in 2000 for infringing on Lee's patents, according to a report by the Agence France-Presse (AFP). Now that Microsoft's request has been struck down, P and IB leader Kim Kil-Hae said the company and Lee have a better chance at winning damages in their lawsuit and also in stopping the sale of the version of Office that includes the patented technology, according to a report by the AFP. Lee and P and IB are seeking damages of 70 billion won, or about $75 million.