i4i Gets Massive Corporate Backing Against Microsoft

More than a hundred companies have lined up against Microsoft in support for a Canada based software marker i4i, in a patent infringement lawsuit which will be heard in the United States Supreme Court next year.

Back in 2009, Microsoft had been sued by i4i which claimed that the software company was illegally using an XML editing feature in its Word software.

The courts had ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $290 million in damages as i4i had patented this feature.

Microsoft has since then made the required changes in its software but still appealed against the lower court's decision with the Supreme Court, which will hear the case next year. Microsoft has managed to garner support from Google, Apple, Wal-Mart and Toyota and many other tech giants.

However, according to The Seattle Times, Microsoft is being opposed by more than a 100 companies that have sent a letter to the US Department of Justice, declaring their support for i4i; these companies include, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Genentech, DuPont and Monsanto.

“We are greatly concerned that a reversal of the lower court's decision in this case could seriously weaken the presumption of validity that attaches to millions of patents in force in the United States today, thereby undermining long-standing investment-backed reliance interests that are critical for domestic job creation and economic growth, and for U.S. technological leadership internationally,” they wrote in the letter.