June 10, 2011 - Microsoft received a major blow on June 9 when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal in its patent infringement lawsuit with i4i, a Canadian company that first sued the software giant in 2007. The Court upheld the rulings of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - along with the $290 million judgment against Microsoft.
"This is not only a victory for i4i," commented Alexander Poltorak, Chairman and CEO of General Patent Corporation. "This is a victory for all inventors and patent holders whose property right has been affirmed by the Supreme Court."
Dr. Poltorak's comment references the fact that Microsoft - along with Google, Apple and other big tech companies - sought to make it easier to invalidate what they consider "questionable" patents. However, not only did the U.S. Patent Office affirm the i4i patent as valid in July 2010, but Microsoft lost battles every step of the way in its fight against i4i.
"Microsoft used every trick in the book - appeal to the Federal Circuit, reexamination in the Patent Office, appeal to the Supreme Court - and lost them all," Dr. Poltorak observed. "At the end of the day, the inventors prevailed."
For more background information on this important case, see "Three Significant Patent Cases in the News in 2010" (Wealth of Ideas newsletter, December 2010).