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Microsoft Loses $290 Million in Patent Battle Fail

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 63 comments

Microsoft pays for old version of Word's XML.

The Supreme Court decided that Microsoft would have to pay the $290 million charge that a jury deemed suitable for a patent infringement against Toronto-based software company i4i.

A jury verdict already awarded over $200 million to i4i over Microsoft's infringement of an XML technology that the software giant used in its previous versions of Microsoft Word.

Microsoft has appealed the decision up the legal system, but now the word from the Supreme Court means that i4i can finally celebrate.

Michel Vulpe, i4i's founder and chief technology officer, commented on the Court's unanimous decision, "We're very pleased that the court did the right thing."

Loudon Owen, i4i's chairman, said in a statement, "This is one of the most significant business cases the court has decided in decades."

Microsoft actually pushed for the courts for a new standard in patent matters. According to Reuters, the Congress-accepted standard is that the defendant in a patent infringement case must "prove by clear and convincing evidence that a plaintiff's patent is invalid." Microsoft, on the other hand, wanted a "lower standard of proof involving a 'preponderance of the evidence' would make some 'bad' patents easier to invalidate while promoting innovation and competition."

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  • 29 Hide
    alyon , June 11, 2011 9:41 PM
    I remember hearing about i4i or better known as "Eye for an Eye." Just a group that makes all of their business buying up patents and then suing companies who may infringe. I would much rather have Microsoft winning this instead of the people who represent what is so wrong with our copyright/patent system today.

    Idiots will look at this as a win.
  • 27 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2011 9:58 PM
    i4i is a patent troll, microsoft losing that case is bad for the industry in general.
  • 26 Hide
    fyend , June 11, 2011 11:01 PM
    ReggieRay Steam is on OS X now and the handful of games available run at much lower frame rates than they do on windows so you might as well just run Windows via Bootcamp if you're dumb enough to overpay for a Mac and expect to game on it. Mind you it'll still be a let down since Mac doesn't offer cutting edge GPUs.


    Fixed.
Other Comments
  • 29 Hide
    alyon , June 11, 2011 9:41 PM
    I remember hearing about i4i or better known as "Eye for an Eye." Just a group that makes all of their business buying up patents and then suing companies who may infringe. I would much rather have Microsoft winning this instead of the people who represent what is so wrong with our copyright/patent system today.

    Idiots will look at this as a win.
  • 13 Hide
    s3anister , June 11, 2011 9:45 PM
    A terribly inconvenient defeat for Microsoft at a bad time and for a high price.
  • 27 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2011 9:58 PM
    i4i is a patent troll, microsoft losing that case is bad for the industry in general.
  • 19 Hide
    SmileyTPB1 , June 11, 2011 10:26 PM
    While I love it when people stick it to MS, I too agree this is a bad thing. I'm tired of lawyers who's only business is to sue people to make money for themselves. Anyone remember the group of lawyers who bought up a bunch of patents that they vaguely interpreted as giving them the patent on buying stuff on the internet and then started suing small businesses to buy a $3000 "Internet Commerce" license from them? Thankfully those morons were successfully counter sued when several of the small business banded together and put them out of business.
  • 20 Hide
    stalker7d7 , June 11, 2011 10:51 PM
    The current patent system is a load of crap in my honest opinion.

    Competition allows us to innovate further. Not "I got the patent, you can't do shit" type of crap. The space race for example, we got the the moon because of competition (regardless that it was a competition for the top power in the world).

    So many good things come from competition, that's why there are laws against monopoly. Yet, for some reason, we have a patent system that seems to strive solely for monopoly? I don't get it.

    Intel vs AMD
    nVidia vs AMt(used to be ATI...)
    Pepsi vs Coke

    Competetion.

    Without it we'd still be in the stone ages...

    I say, abolish the patent system until revisions are made to make it...sensible.
  • 3 Hide
    verbalizer , June 11, 2011 10:57 PM
    why is dude sweating so hard in that photo.... LOL
  • 26 Hide
    fyend , June 11, 2011 11:01 PM
    ReggieRay Steam is on OS X now and the handful of games available run at much lower frame rates than they do on windows so you might as well just run Windows via Bootcamp if you're dumb enough to overpay for a Mac and expect to game on it. Mind you it'll still be a let down since Mac doesn't offer cutting edge GPUs.


    Fixed.
  • 10 Hide
    stm1185 , June 11, 2011 11:21 PM
    Best fixed I have seen all week fyend!
  • 19 Hide
    neblix , June 12, 2011 12:20 AM
    ReggieRayOS X is on STEAM now and I hear there is talk of Ubuntu on STEAM.



    I can buy OSX on Steam now?! When did that happen?!!!?!?
  • -5 Hide
    K-zon , June 12, 2011 12:31 AM
    Patents are always in debate and argument. Think their purpose is to find ways to help reduce or better manage that of debate or arguments within innovation and design to say. But of it at least is the fact that everyone doesnt make the samething and of it that on the idea of anything right maybe for there to be a way to ensure that; that's what it is. Techincal and "legally". Even though patents i think can be applied without great detail due to the fact of being able to access the info, but again maybe not as well. But even on info detail, is the issue of detail flips, to say rather that is of "innovative" means is probably far and in between. To get the same or different results differently.
  • 10 Hide
    Kamab , June 12, 2011 12:37 AM
    What a bad decision. How can you patent something so vague as the way you edit text documents with structured XML. As much as MS is a bloate company they really do get screwed a lot. All because MS did not want to do business with a company that had nothing to offer them.
  • 6 Hide
    zybch , June 12, 2011 12:52 AM
    ReggieRayNice to see the copycat company MS not get away with another stealing of an idea. They copied Apple in the beginning after Bill shafted the author of MS DOS and shoved him under the bus. MS then bullied, copied, stole, you name it to get where they are.

    Your recollection of history is sadly lacking.
    Just go watch Triumph of the Nerds, it might help you get your scrambled memory correctly organized.
  • 6 Hide
    ikyung , June 12, 2011 1:46 AM
    Oh man.. I thought that man's shirt was a design of spots till I realized it was sweat.. What is the point of making millions when one can't even take care of their health. GO EXERCISE.
  • -6 Hide
    ALANMAN , June 12, 2011 1:49 AM
    $290 Million is pocket change for M$.
  • 3 Hide
    11796pcs , June 12, 2011 2:20 AM
    neblixI can buy OSX on Steam now?! When did that happen?!!!?!?

    Wow, that comment was awesome.
  • 2 Hide
    falchard , June 12, 2011 2:46 AM
    I find Microsofts desire to change patent cases to be refreshing. It is a good American stance where the plantiff has to argue the validity of the case instead of the defendant disproving guilt.
  • 2 Hide
    therabiddeer , June 12, 2011 3:09 AM
    I decided to look up i4i, and apparently they are now selling a library that allows you to use the XML that they took out for Word 2007/2010. So, basically what MS already had and was forced to remove is put back in if you pay another company for it. What a bunch of scumbags those i4i people are...
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