December 1, 2010 - Last year, i4i won its lawsuit against Microsoft, complete with an award of over $200 million (which has since increased with interest) and an injunction against the company's Word software that forced Microsoft to make changes to the program in order to remove the infringing code. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Microsoft's appeal.
The patented technology in question is a method for editing documents using the XML markup language. Most of the infringing activity was in the form of larger companies adding special data to Word files. Microsoft argued, in its defense, that i4i had included the patented technology in a software product sold more than a year before it filed its patent application - which would have exceeded the one-year "grace period" inventors have to file a patent application once they have offered the invention for sale, and would thus render the invention unpatentable. Nevertheless, the jury agreed with i4i.
The court will consider Microsoft's appeal in the first half of 2011, and the case is Microsoft v. I4i Limited Partnership, 10-290.