Alacritech v. Microsoft (N.D. Cal. 2005) (04–C-03284)
In an April 12 decision, Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California granted Plaintiff Alacritech’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Microsoft — thus preventing Microsoft from releasing its TCP Chimney or Longhorn software. Alacritech’s patent covers a software method of establishing a TCP connection with reduced processor load and accelerating digital communication.
In the thirteen page decision, Judge White determined that the patent was likely to be found valid and infringed and that the balance of hardships weighed in favor of the plaintiff, Alacritech. Factors considered include:
- A finding of likelihood of success on the merits leads to a presumption of irreparable harm in patent cases;
- Because Alacritech is a small start-up, it would not be able to withstand infringing competition from Microsoft; and
- Microsoft has not yet released the TCP Chimney software