March 23, 2011 - i4i v. Microsoft is a case that we detailed in our Wealth of Ideas newsletter as one of the biggest patent cases in 2010, and a major case to watch in 2011. Now the U.S. government has filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in the patent infringement case, which has now reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
The government's brief argues that a win for Microsoft, in this case, would lower the standard for finding a patent invalid from "by clear and convincing evidence" to "by a preponderence of the evidence."
“By allowing a lay jury to second-guess the PTO’s judgment even in close cases,” states the brief - which was signed by officials from the USPTO, the Solicitor General's Office and the Attorney General's Office - “the preponderance standard would diminish the expected value of patents and would reduce future inventors’ incentives to innovate and to disclose their inventions to the public.”
i4i announced that 22 amicus briefs have been filed on its behalf by companies including Proctor & Gamble, GE and BP. And Microsoft has some big allies filing amicus briefs on its behalf, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Apple, Dell and HP.
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled for April 18.