updated 06:30 pm EST, Fri March 12, 2010
Microsoft found to have willfully infringed patent
The Federal Court of Appeals has upheld a jury verdict against Microsoft in the patent infringement case filed by i4i, according to The Inquirer. Despite Microsoft's confidence that it would win the appeal, judges reaffirmed the earlier decision.
Microsoft initially had been ordered to pay $290 million and cease sales of its Word software due to unauthorized and unlicensed use of i4i's patented technology relating to custom XML. The company was later granted a stay of the order, pending completion of the appeal process.
"A reasonable jury could have concluded that Microsoft 'willfully' infringed the '449' patent based on the evidence presented at trial," the judges wrote.
i4i claimed Microsoft employees had viewed demonstrations of the latter company's software, with references to the patents included in sales materials. Internal documents suggested Microsoft intended to "render i4i's product 'obsolete,'" according to the judges.
Despite the recent ruling, the legal battle may not be over. Microsoft has pushed for an en banc review of the case, according to PC World. It remains unclear if the court will grant the request.