Microsoft Faces New Setback in Patent Infringement Case
Microsoft was handed another setback in the long-running patent infringement case leveled against it by Canadian firm i4i, when the United States Patent and Trademark Office confirmed the validity of i4i's patent at the center of the dispute. For some time, i4i has argued that both Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007 violate the patent's custom XML-related properties. Faced with the potential for massive fines, Microsoft is considering whether to submit a petition to the Supreme Court over the matter.Microsoft faced another setback in a long-running intellectual property case May 11, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed the validity of a patent allegedly infringed by the software giant. Canadian firm i4i insists that both Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007 violate its patent's custom XML-related properties. The twists and turns of the case extend back to August 2009, when a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas ordered Microsoft to pull copies of Word from store shelves within 90 days and pay i4i damages for allegedly violating U.S. Patent 5,787,499. Microsoft immediately filed an appeal, but the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided to uphold the verdict in December. Microsoft responded to that setback by asking for a review of the decision by all 11 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and by issuing a patch that would supposedly sidestep the alleged infringement.
On April 1, Microsoft was denied a multiple-judge review of the lawsuit. While reports at the time indicated that Microsoft had the option of taking the case to the Supreme Court, the company remained vague about its plans.