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Microsoft loses $200m in Texas Hold 'em up patent suit

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Microsoft has been ordered to pay at least $200m to i4i, a Canadian software firm for infringing patents in the way that Microsoft Word handles documents.

The case was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a jurisdiction famous - or infamous- for its patent-friendly decisions. The jury found Microsoft guilty of wilful infringement - which means the judge could triple the damages of $200m.

The dispute centres on how Word 2003 and Word 2007 use XML (Extensible Markup Language).

i4i's lawyer said the court saw emails which showed Microsoft knew it was infringing patents and carried on regardless. i4i is to now seek an injunction to stop Microsoft infringing its patents.

A Microsoft spokesman told Canadian papers the company is to appeal.

"We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid," he said. "We believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict." ®

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