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Court to review patent judgment against Microsoft

Associated Press Featured Article

December 02, 2010

Court to review patent judgment against Microsoft

By Associated Press ,

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to referee a $290 million dispute between Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp., and a Canadian technology company over complaints that a tool used in the popular Microsoft Word program violated patent protections.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the Redmond, Wash.–based Microsoft, which wants the multimillion dollar judgment against it erased.

Toronto–based i4i sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the technology behind a tool used in Microsoft Word. The technology in question gave Word 2003 and Word 2007 users an improved way to edit XML, which is computer code that tells the program how to interpret and display a document's contents.

The lower courts say Microsoft willfully infringed on the patent, and ordered the world's largest software maker to pay i4i $290 million and stop selling versions of Word containing the infringing technology.

Microsoft now sells versions of Word that do not contain the technology in question.

Chief Justice John Roberts (News - Alert) did not take part in the consideration or the decision in this case. He reported owning between $100,000–$250,000 worth of Microsoft stock in 2009 on his annual disclosure report.

The court will hear the case sometime next year.

The case is Microsoft v. i4i, 10–290.

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