Top Court To Hear Microsoft vs. i4i: The Final Chapter

The latest twist in the Microsoft vs. i4i saga is here. The U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear the final round in this case:

The Supreme Court’s decision to review the case represents a rare courtroom success for Microsoft, and again prolongs the dispute. However, it appears that this will be the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s final avenue of appeal in the case.

Microsoft’s appeal to the top court essentially asks the court to consider setting a less-stringent standard for invalidating a patent. Currently, companies in Microsoft’s position are required to show “clear and convincing” evidence to invalidate a U.S. patent.

On the other hand, i4i isn’t thrilled:

However, i4i chairman Loudon Owen argues that Microsoft’s court challenge could “dramatically change the effectiveness and health of the U.S. patent system” by making it easier for alleged violators to convince a court to rule a patent invalid.

As such, Mr. Owen said, it would be less useful for inventors to patent their creations in the first place, and subsequently more difficult to take alleged violators to court.

“What’s the point of getting a patent if you can’t enforce it?” he said. “This goes to the heart and soul of the U.S. patent system.”

Check back next spring for the conclusion of this saga. Either Microsoft will claim victory or i4i can expect $290 a million cheque.

One Response to “Top Court To Hear Microsoft vs. i4i: The Final Chapter”

  1. As much as I dislike Microsoft, It would be great if this was a huge blow to software patents and they became unenforcable in the US and therefore useless.

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