Microsoft May Try to Take i4i Infringement Case to the U.S. Supreme Court
May 11, 2010 2:31 PM
comment(s) - last by
Currently Microsoft owes i4i $300M USD in damages for infringement of its Custom XML patented technology. Microsoft used Custom XML in the best-selling Office 2003 Suite. Microsoft may appeal to the Supreme Court.
Microsoft is unwilling to pay its big infringement fine
Microsoft has tried and tried to beat Toronto, Canada-based software company i4i in U.S. Federal Court, but has been handed a long string of defeats. In May 2009 it lost a patent infringement case to i4i and was ordered to pay
$200M USD in damages
. Then in December 2009 it
lost its appeal
to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in an increased judgment of $300M USD in damages, including $40M USD tacked on for "willful" infringement.
lost yet again
, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Microsoft plea that the patent used in the case be reexamined. Microsoft is left with two options -- pay the big fine or try to continue its climb up the legal ladder to the only remaining rung -- the U.S. Supreme Court. That may be what it decides to do, its lawyers indicate.
Microsoft's Director of Public Affairs Kevin Kutz responded to the defeat of the USPTO request for reexamination,
, "We are disappointed, but there still remain important matters of patent law at stake, and we are considering our options to get them addressed, including a petition to the Supreme Court."
I4i has made it clear that it claims
no ill intentions towards Microsoft
. It claims it merely wants to be rewarded for the Custom XML scheme that cost it millions to develop, which Microsoft liberally borrowed from and used in its best-selling Office 2003 Suite. For the small company a reward would mean it could continue its format development work, while a defeat could spell financial ruin for the business who took a gamble on the massive legal fees required to carry out a litigation campaign against Microsoft.
The company writes in a
, "i4i’s ‘449 patented invention infuses life into the use of Extensible Mark Up Language (XML) and dramatically enhances the ability to structure what was previously unstructured data. As the magnitude of data grows exponentially, this is a critical technological bridge to controlling and managing this sprawling octopus of data and converting it into useful information."
This core element of the case -- Custom XML -- is a scheme for storing and displaying rich information. Microsoft used Custom XML in Office 2003, but did not pay i4i licensing fees, according to the plaintiff's claims. Microsoft disputes this, but has since removed Custom XML from its Office products via a patch to escape a court order
forcing it to cease sales
Office 2010 beta/RTM builds
use Custom XML, as well. Custom XML should not be confused with the similarly named Open XML, which is unrelated to the case.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: As they should
5/11/2010 4:22:16 PM
I agree. Custom XML is a use for which XML was designed in the first place, hence the "eXtensible" in its very name. The PTO is not supposed to award patents for an idea that is "obvious to one trained in the prior art". Tagging a word or phrase as a means to tie it to data stored elsewhere....hmmmm. Isn't that about what a HTML hyperlink does? The difference between HTML and XML is that in HTML, the tag type is predetermined. In XML, the tag name can be anything, so long as there is a schema defining the tag. XML was designed to be extensible. Duh! You don't even have to be very highly trained in the prior art. A retarded chimp could have "invented" Custom XML.
I'm not a big fan of M$, but this is BS. Must be political. Certainly isn't technical.
RE: As they should
5/12/2010 2:03:36 PM
I'm not defending i4i or MS, but the patent is from 1994. I might be wrong, but you can't look at what they patented with 2010 eyes, afterall, what today is common sense for even the begginer programmer, might not have been 16 years ago (hence, XML being created 2 years after the patent file).
And also, by the ongoings of the law suit, the courts have agreed that Microsoft infringed the patents (and knowingly), so, I wouldn't assume the patents are BS.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
Microsoft Office 2010 Hits RTM
April 19, 2010, 9:21 AM
Microsoft Loses i4i Appeal, eBay Prevails Against Tiffany & Co.
April 2, 2010, 9:54 AM
I4I Says It's "Not Out to Destroy" Microsoft Word With Sales Ban
August 13, 2009, 10:16 AM
Texas Judge Bans Microsoft From Selling Word in the U.S.
August 12, 2009, 8:10 AM
Microsoft Fined $200M USD for Violating Open Source Patent
May 21, 2009, 2:52 PM
Microsoft Axes 1,500 Misleading Windows Apps, Crackdown Ongoing
August 28, 2014, 11:56 AM
Dropbox Bows to Competitive Pressure, Provides 1TB of Storage for $10/Month
August 27, 2014, 11:17 AM
Microsoft: Roughly 25,000 Win8.x Users See Blue Screens After Botched Patch
August 25, 2014, 12:50 AM
Report: Microsoft to Announce Windows 9 on September 30
August 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
HP Just Can’t Quit Windows 7; Offers Customers $170 Discounts on Windows 7 Laptops
August 21, 2014, 8:40 AM
Microsoft Wants Windows 8.1 Inside Children's Toys, Appliances
August 20, 2014, 3:20 PM
Most Popular Articles
Numerous Leaks Detail 4.7" iPhone 6 Processor, RAM, Cellular and NFC Capabilities
August 29, 2014, 10:37 PM
Windows 9: "Upgrade Now" Button Coming for Enterprise Updates, ARM Preview in H1 2015
August 26, 2014, 8:00 PM
L.A. Unified School District’s Apple iPad Contract Canceled Following Heavy Criticism
August 26, 2014, 12:37 PM
Apple Builds Not-So-Secret Secret 3-Story Tower for iPhone 6/iWatch Unveil
August 28, 2014, 3:41 PM
Netflix Accuses Comcast of Ripping Off Customers, Files to Block Merger
August 26, 2014, 5:49 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information