i4i Wins Microsoft Patent Fight

by Jordan Richardson on June 10, 2011

i4i, a Canadian software company, has won a four-year patent battle with Microsoft. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a judgement that will have the tech giant pay i4i $290 million for patent infringement.

Thursday saw the Supreme Court uphold an earlier ruling that decided that Microsoft wilfully infringed on a patent it uses in its Word software suite. The company was also forced to stop selling versions containing said patent.

i4i, based out of Toronto, sued Microsoft in 2007 and claimed that it owned the technology behind a tool Microsoft was using in Word. The technology gave users of Word 2003 and Word 2007 an upgraded way to edit XML.

“It’s one of the most important business cases the U.S. Supreme Court has decided in decades,” i4i chairman Louden Owen said. “It’s a watershed. The unanimous decision has very clearly confirmed the current state of the law and it has added a great deal of certainty to the business community.”

Microsoft, for its part, wanted the judgement taken back because it claimed the judge used the “wrong standard” instructing the jury that decided on the award. According to Microsoft’s complaint, a jury should decide the validity of a patent based on a “preponderance” of the evidence and not, as the judge allegedly instructed, “clear and convincing” evidence. But the Supreme Court didn’t bite, arguing that the judge’s wording as “clear and convincing” was correct.

Unsurprisingly, a number of tech world heavyweights supported Microsoft in the case. Apple, Google and Cisco stood behind the tech giant.

Microsoft has continually said that it wants a new trial. That was waved away by the Supreme Court justices, but the Washington-based tech company may have another trick up its sleeve as it also has a challenge to the patent pending at the patent office.

Microsoft says that the money paid out to i4i in the settlement was set aside and therefore won’t impact earnings. The company admitted that this was the largest patent infringement verdict ever affirmed on appeal. “While the outcome is not what we had hoped for, we will continue to advocate for changes to the law that will prevent abuse of the patent system and protect inventors who hold patents representing true innovation,” Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Six Years of Talks Fail in Ford Patent Dispute « IP Insider
July 18, 2011 at 10:19 am
Six Years of Talks Fail in Ford Patent Dispute | IP CloseUp
July 29, 2011 at 11:58 am

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: