A federal court ruled on Tuesday that Microsoft must pay a Guatemalan investor for infringing his software in its Office Suite.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ignored the damages award of 12 cents per copy saying the lower court failed to explain how it calculated the award.

Carlos Armando Amado, an investor, patented a software program, that links databases and spreadsheets and in 2003, he sued Microsoft alleging that several versions of Office Suite were infringing his patent.

A jury ruled in favor of Amado and awarded him 4 cents per infringing unit after an appeal that tripled the damage award.

However, Microsoft requested the jury to award 4 cents per copy of Microsoft's Office Suite sold with the infringing software although Amado had asked for $2.00 per copy.

Because the district court failed to adequately explain the basis for its award of $0.12 per infringing unit sold during the stay of the permanent injunction, the recent Supreme Court action may affect post-verdict damages, we vacate in part and remand, said the appeals court.

The appeals court clarified that it had no position on the exact amount of damages suggesting that the award should be between 4 cents and $2 per copy.