Microsoft hit with $200m patent fine

Written by Tim Smalley

May 21, 2009 // 2:34 p.m.

Tags: #copyright #damages #fine #i4i #infringement #microsoft #patent #vista #word

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $200 million in damages for infringing a Canadian company’s patents by a Texan court.

i4i, which creates software for manipulating documents, filed a case against Microsoft in 2007 that claimed the software giant had knowingly infringed on one of i4i’s patents in both Word 2007 and Windows Vista.

The jury decided that the custom XML tagging features in Word and Vista infringed on i4i’s patents – something which the software giant aggressively denied throughout the case.

Microsoft has said it will appeal the verdict. “The evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “ We believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict.

This isn’t the only patent infringement legal battle Microsoft is currently fighting, as the company was recently ordered to pay $388 million in damages to anti-piracy software outfit Uniloc Inc. for copyright infringement – a verdict which it is also appealing against.

Microsoft is also readying itself for another hearing with the EU early next month, which will decide whether or not the software giant’s bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows is harming competition.

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