The courtroom drama over ownership of the patent for CD burning technology reaches another milestone tomorrow, Macworld UK has learned.

Judge James V Selna has called for a pre-trial hearing Friday September 10, during which legal briefs filed by the two companies involved in the case, defendant Roxio and litigant, Optima Technology.

As previously reported, Optima Technology claims Roxio has infringed its patent for burning CDs. Optima wants the courts to issue an injunction against Roxio as well as demanding unspecified damages, royalties and attorney fees. Optima warns that many other companies are infringing its patent.

The story stretches back to 1995, when Optima developed software for burning images, music, video and data to CD. The technology was patented in 1997; that patent is known as a recordable CD-ROM accessing system, Reuters reports.

Patent argument

Roxio has vowed to defend itself in the case - but since the case launched has declared it plans to divest itself of its software arm in order to focus entirely on its Napster digital download business.

The two parties involved are currently filing papers with the court, which is trying to resolve disputes between the two as regards terms used in two patents.

Optima holds patent 5,666,531, while Roxio holds patent 6,091,686. Both relate to CD authoring, but Optima claims Roxio's infringes its own, earlier, patent.

Optima goes for the throat

Optima's recent brief states that: "Roxio's proposed claim constructions are based on a flawed interpretation of the law of patent claim construction."

It also calls Roxio's expert witness testimony, "baseless, unsupported by any analysis, research or explanation of method."

Matters remain in the hands of the court with a Markman Hearing scheduled for September 13

Roxio shares are trading close to their 52-week low of $3.32. Optima Technology is a privately-held company.