Feeds

US gov opposes Microsoft in i4i patent spat

Juries get confused. And this is complicated

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The US government has thrown its support behind tiny i4i in its Office patent dispute with Microsoft.

US acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, employed by the Department of Justice, has filed an amicus brief in the case that comes out against Microsoft.

Katyal wrote that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), rather than courts with juries, should resolve patent disputes.

He said the benefit that might be derived from court-based decision might be outweighed by "uncertainties and potential for jury confusion".

The filing here (warning: PDF) comes as the case enters what is likely to be its final phase, as it's been accepted for hearing by the US Supreme Court.

The case was brought by i4i over a claimed violation of an XML patent in Word 2003 and Word 2007. The court hearing the case in 2009 found for i4i and fined Microsoft $200m and ruled Microsoft could not sell or import Word 2003 and Word 2007 with the patent in board.

Having lost earlier phases of the case, Microsoft finally argued in November that its case should be heard by the US Supreme Court. i4i had argued against. The ruling is now expected by the end of June.

The government is just the latest in a mushrooming list to have filed documents the case supporting one side or the other – or taking a neutral stand.

Fifty-four parties have so far sided with i4i by filing amicus briefs compared to 20 for Microsoft. A further five have filed briefs supporting neither side - they include IBM.

You can see the full list, with briefs, here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.