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Microsoft Loses Round in AutoPlay Patent Case

A federal judge in California has ruled against Microsoft in a patent lawsuit regarding the software giant's AutoPlay technology, which is used to automatically execute installation programs for CD-ROMs and other removable devices. TVI Interactive Data, a small interactive television technology company, originally filed the suit in 2002.
Microsoft filed motions to invalidate TVI's related patents and to receive a summary judgment. But Judge Jeffrey S. White of the US District Court for the Northern District of California denied the motions and ruled that the trial will go forward as planned.
TVI argues that Microsoft's AutoPlay technology infringes on two TVI patents that describe a "host device equipped with means for starting a process in response to detecting insertion of a storage media" and "detects insertion of a storage media into a peripheral and automatically starts an application." Microsoft says that because its solution is purely software-based, it can't infringe on TVI's hardware-based patent. A motion regarding that claim is still pending.

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