Microsoft sued over Corona technologies

While the U.S. government is wrapping up its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., the software maker has been hit with yet another lawsuit this week claiming it violated patents and disclosed trade secrets while creating its "Corona" digital video playback technology.

The suit, filed by audio and video delivery software maker Burst.com Inc., accuses Microsoft of illegally employing Burst's video delivery technologies after gaining access to the company's proprietary information during negotiations with the company.

Microsoft spokesman Jon Murchinson said Wednesday that the company could not comment on the specifics of the case given that it has just received the suit and has not had time to review it.

However, Murchinson added that, "Microsoft has innovated with digital media technologies in Windows for more than ten years."

Burst, claims that the software giant stole its trade secrets between October of 1999 and December of 2000 while negotiating to use the company's technologies. What's more, the California company alleges that Microsoft used that information to build its recently introduced Corona technology. Corona compresses and decodes digital video and is reportedly at the heart of Microsoft's upcoming Media Player, due out at the end of this year .

Burst also alleges that Microsoft urged its technology partners and financial backers not to support its products because they competed with those of Microsoft.

In its suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Tuesday, Burst accused the leading software maker of patent infringement, unfair practices and violating California state antitrust and trade secret rules.

Burst claims that it spent over ten years and millions of dollars developing its technologies and is seeking damages and other relief.

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Scarlet Pruitt

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