Microsoft Corp. v. Bristol Technology Inc., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
Writing for the CourtPer Curiam
Citation250 F.3d 152
Docket NumberDocket No. 00-9508,DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
Decision Date01 August 2000
Parties(2nd Cir. 2001) MICROSOFT CORPORATION,, v. BRISTOL TECHNOLOGY, INC.,

Page 152

250 F.3d 152 (2nd Cir. 2001)
MICROSOFT CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
v.
BRISTOL TECHNOLOGY, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE.
Docket No. 00-9508
August Term, 2000
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
Argued April 24, 2001
May 17, 2001

Microsoft Corporation moves, unopposed, to vacate an order entered in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Hall, J.) on August 31, 2000, imposing punitive damages in the amount of $1 million and partially granting injunctive relief. We grant the motion to vacate the district court's order.

Page 153

David B. Tulchin, Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, New York (Steven J. Aeschbacher and Richard J. Wallis, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington; Michael T. Tomaino, Jr., Marc De Leeuw, Brian T. Frawley, Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, New York; James Sicilian, Day Berry & Howard, LLP, Hartford, Connecticut; on the brief), for Defendant-Appellant.

Before: Jacobs, Parker, Katzmann, Circuit Judges.

Per Curiam

Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") moves, unopposed, to vacate the order entered in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Hall, J.), imposing punitive damages in the amount of $1 million and granting in part Bristol's request for injunctive relief. Finding exceptional circumstances, we grant the motion.

Bristol Technology, Inc. ("Bristol") sued Microsoft in 1998 alleging federal and state antitrust claims, and other state statutory and common law claims, including violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA"), Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-100a et seq. At issue was the scope of an agreement between the companies to license source code for Microsoft operating systems.

The case went to trial in June 1999. After a six-week trial, the jury found in favor of Microsoft on the state and federal antitrust claims, and found that Microsoft had not committed "unfair" acts or practices in violation of CUTPA. The sole claim on which Bristol prevailed was that Microsoft had violated CUTPA by "deceptive" acts or practices, and on that claim the jury awarded Bristol one dollar in damages. The jury was not charged on punitive damages, and neither party requested such a charge or objected to its omission.

Bristol moved post-trial for an award of punitive damages, for injunctive relief, and for attorneys' fees and costs under CUTPA. See id. §§ 42-110g(a), (d). Microsoft opposed these motions. In an order dated August 31, 2000, the district court granted Bristol's motion for punitive damages, assessed punitive damages in the amount of $1 million, and granted in part the motion for injunctive relief. In a separate order dated November 3, 2000, the court awarded Bristol $2,979,621.42 in attorneys' fees and $750,806.67 in costs. Only the August 31 order is the subject of Microsoft's motion for vacatur.

Microsoft filed a timely notice of appeal in this Court, but the parties reached a settlement. The settlement agreement was entered with the understanding that Bristol would not oppose Microsoft's motion for vacatur of the district court's order

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on punitive and injunctive relief. For the following reasons, we grant the motion.

* * *

Appellate courts have the power to "vacate... any judgment, decree, or order of a court lawfully brought before it for review...." 28 U.S.C. § 2106. "[T]he practice in [this] circuit ha[d] been to vacate district court judgments when a settlement moots the controversy." Nestle Co., Inc. v. Chester's Mkt., Inc., 756 F.2d 280, 283 (2d Cir. 1985) (citing Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union v. J.P. Stevens & Co., 638 F.2d 7 (2d Cir. 1980) (per curiam)). However, in U.S. Bancorp Mortgage Co. v. Bonner Mall Partnership, 513 U.S. 18 (1994), the Supreme Court raised the bar appreciably, and ruled that mootness by settlement is insufficient to overcome opposing considerations: (i) that judicial precedents enjoy a presumption of correctness, see Bancorp, 513 U.S. at 27; (ii) that society benefits from the resolution of legal questions through orderly procedures, see id.; and (iii) that when a case is settled, "the losing party has voluntarily forfeited his legal remedy by the ordinary...

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37 practice notes
  • Bridgeport Harbour Place I, LLC v. Ganim, AC 30549
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 30 Agosto 2011
    ...constitutional concerns. In Bristol Technology, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 114 F. Sup. 2d 59 (D. Conn. 2000) , vacated on other grounds, 250 F.3d 152 (2d Cir. 2001) , the District Court stated ''the United States Constitution imposes a substantive limit on the size of punitive damages awards.......
  • Bridgeport Harbour Place I v. Ganim, No. 30549.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 30 Agosto 2011
    ...constitutional concerns. In Bristol Technology, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 114 F. Sup.2d 59 (D.Conn.2000), vacated on other grounds, 250 F.3d 152 (2d Cir.2001), the District Court stated “the United States Constitution imposes a substantive limit on the size of punitive damages awards.... Thi......
  • Cho v. Young Bin Café, 10 Civ. 3785 (HBP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 9 Septiembre 2013
    ...the burden of demonstrating "'equitable entitlement to the extraordinary remedy of vacatur.'" Microsoft Corp. v. Bristol Tech., Inc., 250 F.3d 152, 154 (2d Cir. 2001), quoting U.S. Bancorp Mortg. Co. v. Bonner Mall P'ship, 513 U.S. 18, 26 (1994). Plaintiff has not specified under which subs......
  • Cho v. Caf, No. 10 Civ. 3785(HBP).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 9 Septiembre 2013
    ...the burden of demonstrating “ ‘equitable entitlement to the extraordinary remedy of vacatur.’ ” Microsoft Corp. v. Bristol Tech., Inc., 250 F.3d 152, 154 (2d Cir.2001), quoting U.S. Bancorp Mortg. Co. v. Bonner Mall P'ship, 513 U.S. 18, 26, 115 S.Ct. 386, 130 L.Ed.2d 233 (1994). Plaintiff h......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Bridgeport Harbour Place I, LLC v. Ganim, AC 30549
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 30 Agosto 2011
    ...constitutional concerns. In Bristol Technology, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 114 F. Sup. 2d 59 (D. Conn. 2000) , vacated on other grounds, 250 F.3d 152 (2d Cir. 2001) , the District Court stated ''the United States Constitution imposes a substantive limit on the size of punitive damages awards.......
  • Bridgeport Harbour Place I v. Ganim, No. 30549.
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • 30 Agosto 2011
    ...constitutional concerns. In Bristol Technology, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 114 F. Sup.2d 59 (D.Conn.2000), vacated on other grounds, 250 F.3d 152 (2d Cir.2001), the District Court stated “the United States Constitution imposes a substantive limit on the size of punitive damages awards.... Thi......
  • Cho v. Young Bin Café, 10 Civ. 3785 (HBP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 9 Septiembre 2013
    ...the burden of demonstrating "'equitable entitlement to the extraordinary remedy of vacatur.'" Microsoft Corp. v. Bristol Tech., Inc., 250 F.3d 152, 154 (2d Cir. 2001), quoting U.S. Bancorp Mortg. Co. v. Bonner Mall P'ship, 513 U.S. 18, 26 (1994). Plaintiff has not specified under which subs......
  • Cho v. Caf, No. 10 Civ. 3785(HBP).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 9 Septiembre 2013
    ...the burden of demonstrating “ ‘equitable entitlement to the extraordinary remedy of vacatur.’ ” Microsoft Corp. v. Bristol Tech., Inc., 250 F.3d 152, 154 (2d Cir.2001), quoting U.S. Bancorp Mortg. Co. v. Bonner Mall P'ship, 513 U.S. 18, 26, 115 S.Ct. 386, 130 L.Ed.2d 233 (1994). Plaintiff h......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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