The Supreme Court, today, unanimously rejected Microsoft’s attempt to avoid paying $290 million dollars to a small Toronto firm which accused Microsoft for violating its patents. The vote, 8-0, concurs with a lower court ruling that determined Microsoft was in violation of the patents of the company, i4i.
As ReadWriteWeb reports, Microsoft lost an appeal with the Supreme Court in an attempt to avoid paying $290 million dollars to i4i regarding a patent violation in certain versions of Microsoft’s popular Word program.
i4i currently holds a patent for building a method of processing custom XML in which i4i claimed that Microsoft violated with Microsoft Office 2003 and subsequent versions. The 8-0 Supreme Court ruling was in favor of i4i’s technology that gave Word 2003 and Word 2007 users an improved way to edit XML. i4i claimed that it owned that technology and Microsoft violated the patents by using it. i4i had originally sued Microsoft back in 2007.
Microsoft argued that there is no need to have a high standard. Currently, in order to invalidate a patent, the company must present “clear and convincing” evidence. Microsoft believes that a lower standard must be implemented to allow both parties to level the litigation playing field.Further reading: Microsoft, Patent