Bill Gates-owned Corbis faces $12.75M in damages in fraud case

Corbis, the digital image company owned by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, must pay $12.75 million in damages as part of a three-year fraud and breach of contract case brought by Infoflows, according to a decision by the Washington State Court of Appeals.  That’s down from an initial $36 million in damages that a 12-person jury initially awarded to Infoflows in a case that alleged that Corbis stole trade secrets.

Seattle-based Infoflows — a business intelligence software company whose technology is used to monitor licensed digita content — was hired by Corbis to perform development work. But after gaining exposure to the Infoflows Fedmark service, Corbis allegedly terminated the contract and then claimed ownership of the technology. The suit alleged that Corbis filed a patent based on the Infoflows technology.

“We are pleased that the court of Appeals saw this case for what it was — repugnant conduct by executives of Corbis who attempted to deceive Infoflows and misappropriate its intellectual property and then cover their actions,” said Infoflows CEO Steve Stone.

Corbis is considering further appeal.

“While we are unable to comment on pending litigation, Corbis will pursue available legal options in this case, including further appeal,”said Jennifer Morgan, senior director of global communications for Corbis.

  • Guest

    Not that surprising that Corbis would follow the Gates game plan.

  • MagBill

    Not that surprising to see an anonymous cheap shot on GeekWire.

    Please link to cases of Microsoft being found guilty of fraud. They’ve been accused before of misappropriation of trade secrets, but I recall the vast majority of those came from companies upset MSFT elected not to buy or license them, and were generally thrown out or settled.

    • Guest

      Do you really need a link to all the cases where MS was accused of stealing an idea from a former partner?

      • MagBill

        No, it would be fine to link to just one case of MS being found guilty of fraud.  “Accused” doesn’t mean jack, big companies are accused every day by people seeking a payday.

  • WHO IS

    This is not MSFT – but CORBIS – Run by Cheating Executives who do not want to pay their dues. They have hired only YES MAN AND WOMEN as their next people in command – NO BRAIN – JUST FOLLOWERS. LOL
    NO INTELLIGENT PERSON STAYS AT CORBIS – THEY HAVE TO STEAL IDEAS and WORK.

    • MagBill

       Nothing says “intelligence” like an all-caps rant.

  • Guest

    Interesting
    case.   It appears that a 12 member Washington State jury,  Superior Court judge and the three panel of Washington
    State appellate court found that Corbis senior executives who reported in Gates
    perpetrated a fraud to steal IP and then worked to conceal that act.   Pretty
    serious stuff.   I wonder whats Bill Gates’ position is on this?