(The Hosting News) – On Thursday, Microsoft lost a Supreme Court appeal over patents as Justices unanimously upheld a 2009 federal court ruling forcing the tech giant to pay $290 million to Canadian-based company i4i.
Microsoft’s appeal was based on a 2009 federal court ruling that found Microsoft guilty of infringing upon i4i’s XML technology in 2003 and 2009 versions of Microsoft Word.
Besides forcing Microsoft to pay the large sum of money to i4i, 2009’s ruling also forced the company to remove the infringing technology from Word.
Yesterday’s defeat marked Microsoft’s second attempt to appeal the 2009 verdict.
In their appeal, Microsoft argued that i4i’s patent on its XML technology was invalid.
Current law requires that plaintiffs give “clear and convincing” evidence when trying to prove the invalidity of a patent. However, Microsoft had argued that a lower standard should be set.
With yesterday’s ruling, the Supreme Court disagreed, stating, “The Court rejects Microsoft’s contention that a defendant need only persuade the jury of a patent invalidity defense by a preponderance of the evidence.” The court also said that any changes concerning patent evidence would have to be approved by congress.
In an email statement provided by Reuters, Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz stated, “While the outcome is not what we had hoped for, we will continue to advocate for changes to the law that will prevent abuse of the patent system and protect inventors who hold patents representing true innovation.”
Meanwhile, i4i was pleased with the ruling.
Despite losing the appeal, the battle is not completely over. Microsoft still has an ongoing patent challenge against i4i’s technology at the U.S. patent office.