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Microsoft to challenge Patent Law

Written by Aneela Akbar on 18 April 2011

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Microsoft the world's leading software firm will be challenging the Supreme Court in the USA after they were faced with a multimillion-dollar patent infringement suit by a small Canadian i4i. Microsoft was held to have infringed one of i4i's patents related to document editing.

This battle has been ongoing for four years and after exhausting all avenues Microsoft is now going to the Supreme Court in the bid to change current patent law.

There is set to be an attack on current law which requires a defendant that is said to have infringed a patent to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the Patentee's invention is invalid. In its written argument to the Supreme court Microsoft argues that 'juries and courts should be able to invalidate patents if a preponderance of the evidence supports doing so. This should happen at least in cases where the defendant is offering new evidence that the patent should not have been granted.'

The chairman of i4i said that Microsoft 'has the right to keep appealing...' however i4i are hoping that the US Supreme court will uphold current patent laws when coming to a decision. They argue that ‘if a mere preponderance of the evidence were to suffice to invalidate a patent in litigation, then the incentive to invest the time and money required to develop...would be substantially reduced.'

The courts will consider both arguments and there may be a radical change in current Patent law.

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