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Microsoft Loses Appeal Over Anti-Piracy Software

WASHINGTON (CN) - Microsoft lost its appealof a $142 million judgment against the computer giant over patents for preventing software piracy. The Federal Circuit upheld the finding that Microsoft had infringed two patents owned by z4 Technologies, saying the jury's verdict was supported by substantial evidence. See ruling.

Z4's inventions control the number of copies of authorized software by monitoring registration information and require authorized users to periodically update a password or authorization code. The patents also detail a "multi-step user authorization scheme" that gives users a grace period before they have to register the software to continue using it.

Microsoft has a similar product-activation process with a grace period that's enabled by using a specific "product key."

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