May 12, 2010 - On April 28, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office informed Canadian software company i4i of its intent to issue an ex parte reexamination certificate on the patent the company successfully sued Microsoft for infringing - and all the patent's claims were confirmed. With the patent's validity upheld, Microsoft is running out of options and will likely petition the Supreme Court to take the case.
The results of the reexamination are the latest blow to Microsoft in a case that almost stopped sales of its popular Word software. On April 1, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals in patent cases, denied Microsoft's petition for an en banc (full court) rehearing of earlier rulings that upheld a lower court's $290 million judgment against Microsoft.
Kevin Kutz, Microsoft's director of public affairs, said in an email to Law.com that while the company is disappointed in the results of the reexamination, "there still remain important matters of patent law at stake, and we are considering our options to get them addressed, including a petition to the Supreme Court."