Microsoft To Pay $200M For Patent Infringement

Microsoft To Pay $200M For Patent Infringement

And the fines just keep on coming. Shortly after Intel was dealt a staggering $1.45 billion fine for alleged antitrust practices against the likes of AMD, Microsoft is now facing a slightly less painful $200 million payment to software ware i4i Ltd. This week, a Texas federal jury ordered Microsoft to pay the aforementioned Canadian outfit nearly a quarter-billion dollars for damages for infringing a patent.



Those familiar with such matters will recognize that Texas, particularly Marshall, is somewhat of a patent troll haven, but obviously things worked out for the relatively unknown outfit. Of note, Microsoft has more matters than just this to deal with, ensuring that its lawyers stay adequately busy. In fact, it's currently wading through a number of legal battles, though it firmly asserts that this particular one is "unsupported."



i4i, which is a privately held maker of software for manipulating documents based in Toronto, sued claiming that Microsoft "knowingly infringed one of its patents in its Word processing application and its Vista operating system." A Microsoft spokesman noted that the "evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid," continuing on to say that "we believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict." Needless to say, the war here is far from over, but things are certainly not leaning in Microsoft's favor at the moment.
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I'm on Microsoft's side on this one.

Pick up your jaw.

From what I know of i4i's patent, there's nothing innovative or non-obvious about it. In fact, I've never seen any software patent that expressed anything that couldn't be independently invented by any other skilled programmer. Software patents should just not be allowed.

Microsoft themselves files a lot of obvious patents, but I believe that most of them are genuinely a protective measure. Only seldomly have they abused their patents *coughTomTomcough*. Karma is a *****.

And as a resident of Texas, I'm ashamed that the court system here continually sides with these patent trolls. I don't know who's paying whom, but something stinks to high heaven.

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