The US Supreme Court today will begin considering Microsoft’s plea to make patent laws less strict for companies which are trying to invalidate a patent brought against them in a lawsuit.
The outcome of the Microsoft-i4i patent infringement case will decide the way patents are filed and contested against, in the United States.
Earlier, Microsoft had been asked to pay a huge amount of money to Canadian software maker i4i for infringing a patent which forms a component of its popular Word software. The software giant has already been forced to remove the infringing technology from Word.
As of now, when a company cites infringement of a patent against another company, the accused is required to provide ‘clear and convincing evidence’ if it wants to get that patent invalidated.
Microsoft believes that the laws should be made less strict for defending companies, who should be able to get a patent invalidated by merely submitting a "a preponderance of the evidence".
“The implications are gargantuan. The whole system for innovation in this country is predicated on the patent system. If patent rights are eroded to where there's no point in having a patent because you can't enforce it, that will disrupt policy and the practice of disclosure,” Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i, said in a statement to PC World.