The battle over the copyright and patent rights of a company’s software is the most high-profile legal battle the tech industry has seen in recent years.
The latest legal showdown comes after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against Microsoft and the United States Department of Justice on behalf of its software and related intellectual property.
The Electronic Frontier has been battling Microsoft since at least 2015 over the rights of its Windows operating system to use a patent owned by the software giant.
That patent, known as a “Microsoft-patent” has a broad scope and is the subject of multiple lawsuits across the world.
The EFF claims that Microsoft violated the patents by making “a deliberate and repeated attempt to suppress competition in the market for software patents,” and that Microsoft has a “pattern and practice of violating the patent laws.”
It claims that the company has used its monopoly power to limit competition in a way that harms “software developers and users of Microsoft products.”EFF says Microsoft has been actively using the patent to pressure companies like Google into using the software, effectively giving the company exclusive rights to the technology.
The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft also used its patent to bully companies into giving up their rights to protect their own intellectual property, as well as to “make it more difficult for companies to develop new software and devices that are not based on the Microsoft patents.”
The lawsuit was filed by EFF and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an advocacy group that focuses on privacy and civil liberties issues in the technology industry.
In addition to Microsoft, the suit includes the following defendants:Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and Twitter.EFF says that Microsoft’s patent is a “central pillar of Microsoft’s business strategy.”
The company says that the patent “creates a monopoly” that is “an unfair monopoly” and “puts competitors at an economic disadvantage.”
The lawsuit says Microsoft “unfairly controls the technology and processes used by Microsoft and its competitors, and is abusing the monopoly power granted to it by Microsoft to suppress innovation.”
In response to the lawsuit, Microsoft has called the lawsuit “politically motivated and false.”
It says that while the lawsuit is “deeply troubling,” it is not related to the company’s patents.
Microsoft says that its lawsuit is not intended to threaten Microsoft’s position in the global marketplace.