Back in 2007 a small company called i4i filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft for alleged patent infringement on patent number 5,787,449 that i4i holds. Microsoft allegedly infringes on the patent with some of the tech that it uses in its top selling Office suite.
The legal battle between the two firms has raged for years and Microsoft is still fighting. Microsoft is fighting, though it has lost the case in two courts so far. It lost the initial case in 2009 and i4i was awarded a $290 million judgment and a permanent injunction. Microsoft appealed in late 2009, losing again, and then sought a rehearing, which was denied.
The case is set to go before the Supreme Court and i4i has filed its brief with the highest court in the nation. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case are set to take place on April 18 and a decision in the case is expected by the end of June. Loudon Owen, Chairman of i4i, says, “We continue to be confident that i4i will prevail.” Owen adds, “Our position from the outset has been clear – this attack on patent holders and the adverse implications from the change proposed by Microsoft are unprecedented and would deal a devastating blow to any US patent holder, large or small. The proposed change would dramatically hurt employment growth in any industry where new technology and invention is important – maintaining the existing law is vital for continuing innovation and job creation.”