Microsoft loses $200m in Texas Hold 'em up patent suit
XML's the Word
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." ®
@greg, these are held in this district in Texas because goods are sold there. So I LOVE the ACs solution, refuse to sell product there until the patent-troll-supporting judges cut it out. Turn Texas into at least twice the technological backwater it already is.
@mindbrane, sounds like typical texas to me. I went there on vacation about 10 years ago, and was kicked out by the texas rangers, and advised (at gunpoint) "Turn around and leave, don't stop in the state park.. people get accidentally shot there.. *heh heh heh*". They just assumed since I had long hair and was driving a 1972 Caddy that I was a drug runner and were pissed when (after illegally searching my car) they found I wasn't. What a friendly bunch. They did restrain themselves from stealing my cash though.
"How can anyone appeal straight after a verdict unless there is new evidence?"
They go up one level.. there's several layers of courts.. in general it's like a local/county level, then maybe a district level court, then a state appeals court, then maybe state supreme court and federal supreme court. At least as supreme court level, the courts can simply decline to hear a case though.
<<The problem is that as long as a company has "business presence" in a particular state, they can choose to try a Federal case there>>
So, if you've got a consultant* in East Texas, you have a presence there?!
So, set up a 'consultancy' in E. Tex, and pay the fuc*ker commission on the results of the lawsuits!
*Consultant(British English):- Has-been, unemployed boring old fart with leather patches on his Tweed jacket, using an ancient old Amstrad from his kitchen table.
Why even bother
Suing Microsoft for XML patent infringements is an evil plot inspired by communist Nazis. Ask Rainier Wolfcastle