Informatica Corp. v. Business Objects Data Integration, Inc. (PDF) Magistrate Judge LaPorte Decided May 16, 2007 Informatica sued Business Objects Data Integration (BODI) for patent infringement. The case went to trial where the jury found for Informatica. The jury awarded Informatica $25,240,000 for reasonable royalty damages. In a special verdict the jury found 10% of this award to be attributed to a violation of Ã?Â§ 271(f). Magistrate Judge LaPorte extensively discussed the Supreme CourtÃ¢â?¬â?¢s decision in Microsoft v. ATT. In Microsoft, the Supreme Court held that Microsoft did not supply components from the United States within the meaning of Ã?Â§ 271(f) by sending a golden master disk overseas for copying. Here, BODI created a master CD in San Jose. The master CD was shipped to a third party contractor in Ireland for duplication. The duplicates were then sent to another third party contractor in Ireland for packaging and shipment to the end user.
Consistent with Union Carbide on the issue of directly supplying components abroad, Microsoft controls on the issue of whether BODI Ã¢â?¬Å?suppliedÃ¢â?¬Â? components from the United States by exporting master disks, but not user-ready copies, of its software.
The damages award must, thus, be adjusted downward to exclude foreign sales that fall outside the reach of Ã?Â§ 271(f). This opinion is interesting because Magistrate Judge LaPorte points out that Microsoft v. ATT left a lot of questions unanswered. Can an intangible method or process ever qualify as a patented invention? How did the Microsoft v. ATT effect the Federal CircuitÃ¢â?¬â?¢s reasoning in Eolas v. Microsoft (which held that Ã?Â§ 271(f) does not impose a requirement of tangibility on any component of a patented invention)? Is software in the abstract a component of a patented invention? Does Microsoft v. ATT call for liability if software is downloaded from the internet in a foreign country?