Appeal Gives Microsoft Chance to Contest i4i Award, Patent Standards
A rare victory for Microsoft in its long-running legal battle with i4i. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Redmond’s appeal seeking to overturn a $290 million jury verdict against it for infringing an i4i XML patent in Word 2003 and 2007.
The decision is an important one not just for Microsoft, which now has a chance to challenge the judgment, but for patent law as well. In considering the company’s appeal, the court will examine the current legal standard for determining the validity of a patent, which presumes a patent is valid because it’s been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Microsoft argues that standard is far too low. And supporters including Apple, Google, Intel and most likely anyone else who’s raised an eyebrow over a dubious USPTO patent approval agree.
“We are gratified by the Court’s decision,” David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel for litigation, said in a statement. “It’s a clear affirmation that the issues raised in this case are critical to the integrity of our patent system.”