Court Throws Out Microsoft Win on Keyboard Patents

A federal appellate court on Tuesday said a lower court erred in invalidating two patents for ergonomic computer keyboards, dealing a blow to Microsoft Corp., which fought to have them voided after being sued by the holder of those patents. TypeRight Keyboard Corp. sued Microsoft in July 1998, claiming that Microsoft's ergonomic keyboards, which split the keys into separate clusters for the left and right hands and have a large wrist-rest, violated its "'441" and "'484" patents.

In June 2000, after Microsoft presented a document from a German company, Marquardt GmbH, that it said proved the concept of such a keyboard predated TypeRight's patent applications, a federal court in southern California granted a Microsoft motion to invalidate the patents. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said on Tuesday there was a "genuine issue" with the credibility of Microsoft's witnesses and that the judge should not have invalidated the patents given those issues.

News source: Reuters

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