Microsoft Hit With $242 Million US Verdict in Cortana Patent Lawsuit


A federal jury in Delaware has ruled that Microsoft owes IPA Technologies $242 million due to patent infringement by Microsoft’s Cortana virtual-assistant software.

The jury’s decision, reached after a week-long trial, supports IPA’s claim that Microsoft’s voice-recognition technology violates its patent rights in computer-communications software.

IPA, a subsidiary of patent-licensing company Wi-LAN, acquired the patent in question from SRI International’s Siri Inc., which Apple incorporated into its Siri virtual assistant. Wi-LAN, jointly owned by Canadian technology company Quarterhill and two investment firms, pursued legal action against Microsoft over the alleged infringement.

Microsoft, however, maintains its innocence, stating, “We remain confident that Microsoft never infringed on IPA’s patents and will appeal.” IPA and Wi-LAN have yet to comment on the verdict.

The lawsuit, initially filed in 2018, accused Microsoft of infringing patents related to personal digital assistants and voice-based data navigation. Though the case was eventually narrowed down to focus on a single IPA patent, Microsoft argued against infringement and questioned the validity of the patent in question.

IPA has also taken legal action against Google and Amazon over its patents, with Amazon successfully defending against IPA’s lawsuit in 2021, while the case against Google remains ongoing.