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Wed, Nov 18, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft violated Chinese company’s rights: court

AFP , BEIJING AND WASHINGTON

A Chinese court has found Microsoft Corp infringed a Chinese company’s intellectual property rights by including certain fonts in its operating systems.

Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court found Microsoft had exceeded the scope of a previous agreement to use and sell fonts owned by Zhongyi Electronic Ltd (中易中標電子信息公司), Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing a judgment dated Monday.

SENSITIVE TIME

The decision came during US President Barack Obama’s visit to China and at a sensitive time in the trade relationship between the two countries. The US has been pressing China for tougher intellectual property law enforcement.

Microsoft installed and used the fonts in eight of its operating systems without express permission from Zhongyi, the court said, ordering Microsoft to stop producing and selling those operating systems in China.

Microsoft officials were not immediately available for comment.

The case, which was filed in April 2007, apparently does not affect Microsoft’s latest operating systems, Vista and Windows 7, which went on sale last month.

The court rejected Zhongyi’s claim that Microsoft’s use of Zhengma software, which enables computer users to type Chinese characters using Western keyboards, also violated its intellectual property rights.

PAUL ALLEN

In related news, billionaire Paul Allen, who founded US software giant Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, has been diagnosed with cancer, technology blogs reported on Monday.

Allen, 56, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, CNET News and other technology news sites said, quoting a letter from Allen’s sister, Jody Allen.

“He received the diagnosis early this month and has begun chemotherapy,” Jody Allen said in the letter to employees of her brother’s company, Vulcan Inc.

“Doctors say he has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a relatively common form of lymphoma,” Jody Allen said.

She said her brother survived another bout with cancer 25 years ago.

Paul Allen left Microsoft in 1983 and is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc and the chairman of Charter Communications.

He owns the National Football League team the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association and is a part owner of the Major League Soccer team the Seattle Sounders.

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