updated 03:10 pm EDT, Thu June 9, 2011
Microsoft loses last appeal in i4i patent case
Microsoft on Thursday lost its final appeal in i4i's patent lawsuit against it over patents. The US Supreme Court upheld the verdict that Microsoft had copied i4i technology for XML code in Office and owed about $290 million. Microsoft said the ruling was "not what we had hoped for" but instead reinterpreted the loss as a proof of its call for patent defense improvement.
The rejection market one of the larger patent dispute losses for Microsoft. Unlike many of the companies hoping to sue Microsoft over patents, i4i had a concrete, developed product that used custom XML to format Word documents. The introduction of XML code in Word 2003 and 2007 allegedly copied i4i's concept and deprived it of potential business.
At one point, Microsoft nearly faced an Office product ban that would have stopped most versions of Office from heading out until the Windows developer rolled out a fix.
Microsoft's demands to reject abuse of the patent system have often been considered ironic. The company has regularly used patent lawsuits as a competitive tool, suing Android partners over patents with the alternative being a royalty rate that costs more than just licensing Windows Phone when it's an option.