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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.

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