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Date Issue Title
10th Jun 2011 Other Issue Microsoft must pay $290m for patent infringement

Report
The US Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Microsoft against a $290m verdict for infringing a small Canadian company's patent.

The company, i4i, sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the technology behind a text manipulation tool used in Microsoft's Word application.

The technology gave Word 2003 and Word 2007 users an improved way of using a document's contents.

Lower courts had said Microsoft wilfully breached the patent.

They ordered the world's biggest software maker to pay up, and to stop selling versions of Word containing the infringing technology.

Microsoft claimed a judge used the wrong standard in instructing the jury that decided on the award, and said the judgement should be overturned.

It pushed for a lower standard of proof of infringement to be used instead, arguing that the level of proof usually required to overturn a patent in the US was too high.

Defendants in US patent suits are required to show that 70-80% of the "clear and convincing" evidence supports their case.

Microsoft argued that they should only need to show a "preponderance" of the evidence - more than 50% - was in its favour.

However, the Supreme Court said the "clear and convincing" standard was the correct one.

Prior to the decision, President Obama's administration had called for the court to uphold the higher standard of proof.

Microsoft said in a statement: "While the outcome is not what we had hoped for, we will continue to advocate for changes to the law that will prevent abuse of the patent system and protect inventors who hold patents representing true innovation."

Microsoft now sells versions of Word that do not contain the technology in question.

Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i, welcomed the outcome: "Microsoft tried to gut the value of patents by introducing a lower standard for invalidating patents.

"It is now 100% clear that you can only invalidate a patent based on 'clear and convincing' evidence."

Other Reports on Microsoft Corporation
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27th Feb 2008 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation EU fines Microsoft record $1.4bn
22nd Sep 2007 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft loses anti-trust appeal
19th Sep 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft accused over Vista row
12th Jul 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft hit with 280m euro fine
18th Apr 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft loses out again in EU row
10th Mar 2006 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft faces new fines threat
26th Jan 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft may still face EU fine
22nd Dec 2005 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft may face daily EU fine
7th Dec 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation South Korea fines Microsoft $32m
1st Jul 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft pays out $775m to IBM
15th Jun 2005 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft helps China to censor bloggers
18th Mar 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation EU warns on Microsoft behaviour
28th Jun 2004 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft settles anti-trust case
13th Apr 2004 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft settles patents case
24th Mar 2004 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft hit by record EU fine
19th Mar 2004 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft facing EU fines
27th Jan 2004 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation EU Anti Competition Investigation
15th Dec 2003 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft abandons older Windows
8th Jul 2003 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft faces new probe

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