Microsoft Sued for Patent Infringement Over Optimizing Network Speeds

On Friday in the Western District of Texas, plaintiff Panther Innovations, LLC filed a complaint against Microsoft Corporation, claiming that Microsoft infringed the patents-in-suit through its operating systems that allegedly utilize network speed optimization.

The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 7,840,652 (the ’652 patent) and 8,069,231 (the ’231 patent), both relate to optimizing network and internet data transfer speeds. The plaintiff explained that “the Asserted Patents describe certain TCP/IP settings that can be adjusted to optimize the network connection, including, for example, Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU), Maximum Segment Size (MSS), Receive Window (RWIN), Time to Live (TTL), Black Hole Detection, and MTU Auto Discovery.”

According to the complaint, Microsoft has infringed the patents-in-suit “by making, using, offering to sell, and selling within the United States…certain products and services,” that purportedly infringe these asserted patents. The plaintiff stated that Microsoft’s accused products have “various user-selectable network configuration settings,” including “Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 operating systems.”

For instance, Panther Innovations claimed that Microsoft infringed at least claims 1 and 29 of the ’652 patent. Specifically, claim 1 of the ’652 patent states “[a] method of optimizing network configuration settings for a user’s client machine, the method comprising: (a) providing a plurality of groups of network configuration settings to be used but her user’s client machine…” As allegedly described in claim 1 of the ’652 patent, Microsoft’s accused products “provide a plurality of groups of network configuration settings (e.g., TCP auto-tune, congestion Provider, and Scaling Heuristics functionality) to be used by the user’s client machine.”

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that these Windows products have “user-selectable TCP Auto-tuning functionality, user-selectable Congestion Provider functionality, and user-selectable Scaling Heuristics functionality.” Panther Innovations averred that Microsoft’s TCP auto-tuning “implements a sliding window based on network constraints.” Moreover, the plaintiff proffered that the Congestion Provider functionality is used to “automatically optimize network configuration settings including MSS. By default, client computers use NewReno, but may also be configured to implement CTCP or DCTCP.” According to the complaint, “CTCP, or Compound TCP, is a Microsoft implementation that includes the ability to automatically optimize performance.”

Furthermore, Panther Innovations asserted that Microsoft’s accused products also allow it to “implement Scaling Heuristics functionality to optimize scaling.” Consequently, the plaintiff contended that these functionalities are “designed to automatically adjust these network configuration settings to optimize connectivity. Additionally, the accused products reportedly “conduct performance tests to optimize the network feature” for these functionalities.

The plaintiff has sought declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, an award for costs and fees, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Connor Kudlac Lee PLLC and Hall Booth Smith, P.C.