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i4i successful patent claim against Microsoft – $290 million

Microsoft will be crying into their cornflakes this morning as the US Supreme Court ruled against them. The outcome is that they infringed patents held by i4i, a small Canadian company.

The judgement forces Microsoft to hand over $290 million to i4i who accused Microsoft of infringing patents it holds relating to document editing. The ruling is doubling damaging, as Microsoft are forced to stop selling some versions of their word processing software – Word. Microsoft tried to change the way patents could be invalidated, but it didn’t work. Google were also seeking a ruling to make it harder for patent holders to sue technology companies.

Microsoft have claimed that the case “raised an important issue of law which the Supreme Court itself had questioned in an earlier decision and which we believed needed resolution.

“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.”

i4i won’t really care right now as the Supreme Court ruled in their favour and have said that a challenge to a patent claim “requires an invalidity defense to be proved by clear and convincing evidence.”

Kitguru says: This will be a positive ruling not just for i4i, but for patent holders and inventors.

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