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Microsoft patent loss: It's about activation not validation

I've seen a few folks celebrating the patent ruling as something that could put a damper on Microsoft's Genuine Advantage anti-piracy technologies in Windows. But it looks like it may be a little soon to dance on the WGA/OGA graves.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

That patent-violation ruling that, if not overturned, could cost Microsoft $388 million? (The one in which Microsoft was found by a Rhode Island federal jury to have infringed on Uniloc's anti-piracy technology -- an award the Wall Street Journal said is the fifth largest patent award in history.)

I've seen a few folks celebrating the patent ruling as something that could put a damper on Microsoft's Genuine Advantage anti-piracy technologies in Windows. But it looks like it may be a little soon to dance on the WGA/OGA graves.

The Uniloc ruling applies to the product activation technology used by Microsoft, not the product validation technology. (WGA and OGA both require activation and validation, but it's the validation technology that results in the degradation of functionality and features for software deemed to be non-genuine.)

Microsoft officials have said they plan to appeal this week's ruling.

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