Microsoft May Try to Take i4i Infringement Case to the U.S. Supreme Court
May 11, 2010 2:31 PM
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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.
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RE: As they should
5/11/2010 5:23:41 PM
So in other words, given your evasion, you were in fact
, I didnt call them patent trolls. Again, please quote the part where I use the phrase 'patent troll' in my original post. Otherwise just admit you were wrong so as to avoid embarrassing yourself further.
The merits of the so-called innovation have been done to death. This isnt a new story. Any competent programmer would find this 'technology' quite ordinary. That its even called 'technology' is rediculous.
RE: As they should
5/11/2010 5:56:15 PM
Its called making an inference!
I've read the patent, in doing so, its not hard for me to pinpoint someone who has not. You were the first comment and made a one liner without backing it up.. It really was not that big of a stretch.
Furthermore, are you seriously going to sit here and call me 'wrong' when your own comments pretty much prove my statements?
That patent is a steaming load of BS.
They're just looking for a big payday, and like a lot of modern businesses, they find its easier to get it from litigation than it is through selling product.
If you think the patent is invalid and you think they are just looking for a big payday... what exactly do you think you are inferring?
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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