Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, should pay a New York company $90 million for using its inventions in the Xbox video-game system, a lawyer told a federal jury yesterday.

To quote: PalTalk Holdings Inc. says Halo games and the Xbox console on which they are played infringe two patents for inventions developed by MPath Interactive Inc. PalTalk bought the patents for less than $200,000, Microsoft lawyer David Pritikin said.

The trial in Marshall, Texas, centers on technology for ways to control interactive applications over multiple computers. MPath was "a pioneer in the online video industry in the area of real-time, multiplayer online games," PalTalk lawyer Max Tribble told the jury.

"Microsoft had many meetings with MPath regarding their technology, and Microsoft found the technology to be very valuable," he said.

Microsoft said it did review the inventions and chose a different path in developing its games. The technology is for an older dial-up method of communicating between computers and "the patents don't cover the way the Halo games work," Pritikin said.

Microsoft also is challenging the validity of the PalTalk patents and told the jury that, even if it agrees with PalTalk, "the patents aren't worth much, certainly not $90 million."


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