Microsoft is to pay video player software vendor Burst US$60 million to settle Burst's anti-trust and patent-infringement claims. The settlement will also give Microsoft a non-exclusive right to Burst's media player software.
Burst will use the settlement money to pay off long-term debts, enforce patent claims against other companies and to pay shareholders, according to the press release.
The Burst.com case was among the first round of anti-trust lawsuits filed by Microsoft competitors following settlement of the US government's antitrust case against the company in November 2001.
Burst filed its lawsuit against Microsoft in June 2002, alleging that Microsoft stole patented technology and trade secrets concerning Internet-based video-on-demand for its Windows Media Player product. Microsoft learned about Burst's technology in two years of meetings and discussions, although it signed a non-disclosure agreement with Burst prior to those meetings, Burst alleged. Microsoft denied those claims.
Microsoft has settled several other anti-trust lawsuits against it, but the company still faces lawsuits from Novell and RealNetworks, as well as several class-action claims.
Novell in November filed an anti-trust lawsuit accusing Microsoft of unfairly eliminating competition for office productivity applications during the time Novell owned the WordPerfect word processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application. Earlier that month, Microsoft agreed to pay Novell US$536 million for anti-trust claims relating to Novell's NetWare product.
In December 2003, RealNetworks filed a lawsuit claiming that Microsoft illegally used its power as a monopoly to control the digital media market.