Microsoft Goes To US Supreme Court Over i4i Patent

Microsoft's ongoing patent infringement lawsuit with Canadian software maker i4i might be on the verge of ending, after three long and expensive years.

i4i co-founder Michel Vulpe accused the software giant of using patented technology in its popular Word software without prior agreement.

After many long and unfruitful boardroom meetings, i4i decided to formally address the problem by filing a patent infringement lawsuit in 2007 (more coverage about it here).

Since then, the company has spent more than $15 million in legal costs and has been forced to down-size its operations. On the other hand, Microsoft, after suffering several setbacks, continued to file for legal appeals.

A Texas federal court had ordered Microsoft to pay $290 million in damages to i4i and stop selling the infringing product in December 2009; Microsoft has tried to appeal against the ruling several times without success.

The Texas court ruling was strengthened when the US Patent and Trademark Office validated the i4i patent; Now, Microsoft's last chance is filing an appeal with the US Supreme Court, which is highly unlikely to go with Microsoft on this one.