Court to review patent judgment against Microsoft

November 29, 2010

(AP) -- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to referee a $290 million dispute between Microsoft Corp. and a Canadian technology company over complaints that a tool used in the popular Microsoft Word program violated patent protections.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, which wants the multimillion dollar judgment against it erased.

Toronto-based i4i sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the technology behind a tool used in Microsoft Word. The technology in question gave Word 2003 and Word 2007 users an improved way to edit XML, which is that tells the program how to interpret and display a document's contents.

The lower courts say Microsoft willfully infringed on the , and ordered the world's largest to pay i4i $290 million and stop selling versions of Word containing the infringing technology.

Microsoft now sells versions of Word that do not contain the technology in question.

Microsoft executive David Howard said the company is glad the justices decided to hear their appeal.

"It's a clear affirmation that the issues raised in this case are critical to the integrity of our ," Howard said. "We look forward to presenting our case to the Supreme Court."

Chief Justice John Roberts did not take part in the consideration or the decision in this case. He reported owning between $100,000-$250,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 2009 on his annual disclosure report.

The court will hear the case sometime next year.

The case is v. i4i, 10-290.

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COCO
not rated yet Nov 30, 2010
and why is Chief Justice Roberts mentioned? Sounds like the fix is in - maybe a few months at GITMO is in the offing.
rexalfielee
not rated yet Nov 30, 2010
Tech Reporter: Ah, that Microsoft fights the very patent system that it hopes will serve them to destroy everyone else is not hypocritical at all, is it?

Stevie Ballmer: "Perhaps just a little but we've been so hard done by recently. It's not fair...." (throws another chair limply at the wall. The walls are reinforced & the room is littered with chair fragments & cheap wooden chairs lined up for more outbursts)
Gena777
5 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2010
It seems to me that a SCOTUS ruling for Microsoft in this case would likely have numerous significant repercussions for patent litigation -- for instance, (1) it could leave many more patent holders vulnerable to harassment by excessive litigation from large corporations; (2) it would probably serve as the basis for invalidating many patents post-issuance; and (3) it could give the FTC more leverage in ending reverse-payment settlement agreements. I think this is a case in which the Court should very seriously and carefully the policy basis of the current law and the consequences if it is overturned.
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