Microsoft to Settle File-Protection Patent Suit

Microsoft ( MSFT) reportedly agreed to settle a three-year-old patent suit related to technology used to prevent the unauthorized copying of music and video files.

The Redmond, Wash., software giant will pay $440 million to InterTrust, which is owned by a joint venture of Sony ( SNE), Philips ( PHG) and Stephens Inc. In settling the suit, Microsoft will receive a license to a portfolio of patents for protecting media files, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The settlement comes a little more than one week after Microsoft agreed to pay Sun Microsystems ( SUNW) more than $1.5 billion and open some source code to settle an ongoing patent dispute between the two technology giants. The company remains under the threat of marketing restrictions in Europe, where it recently failed to settle an antitrust case over the way it markets its Windows Media Player.

Microsoft closed at $25.48 Thursday.

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