Microsoft lost in patent caseMicrosoft Corporation go through a defeat on Thursday when the Supreme Court upheld a record of $290 million jury verdict against the software giant for infringing a small Canadian company’s patent.

The Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed with the US appeals court decision that went against the world’s largest software company in its legal battle with Toronto- based i4i. The software giant, Microsoft loses in the patent case.

The High Court refused to adopt Microsoft’s lower standard to replace the long- standing requirement that a defendant in a patent infringement case prove by clear and convincing evidence that the plaintiff’s patent is invalid.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft had argued that a lower standard of proof involving a “preponderance of evidence” would make some “bad” patents easier to invalidate while promoting innovation and competition.

The Obama administration and the i4i opposed Microsoft’s position and said the Congress has accepted the standard for the past 28 years and the Supreme Court should uphold it.

The legal battle began in 2007 when i4i sued Microsoft. A federal jury awarded $290 million to i4i after finding that Microsoft, in 2003 and 2007 versions of word, its word-processing application, had infringed i4i’s patent relating to text manipulation software.
A U.S appeals court upheld the award, and the U.S Patent and Trademark Office upheld the validity of the i4i patent. Microsoft continued to dispute those decisions, but removed the contested features from its current software. In appeal to the Supreme Court, Microsoft demanded for a new trial but the justices ruled against Microsoft.


Report by Alka