Microsoft suffered a major setback on Thursday when the US Supreme Court ruled against the company in a patent-infringement hearing.
This loss in the legal battle against I4i, a small, Toronto-based company will reportedly cost the software behemoth almost $300 million. Even more significant than the $300 million loss is the potential impact of the verdict on its Word software, which will need to remove the offending software unless Microsoft can come to a licensing agreement with I4i.
The court decided to turn down the calls from Microsoft to lower the standards of the long standing “clear and convincing evidence” that defendants of patent-infringement cases need to present to the court.
"We're very pleased that the court did the right thing," and that the decision was unanimous,” Michel Vulpe, I4i's founder and chief technology officer told Reuters.
Kevin Kutz, a Microsoft spokesman expressed the company’s disappointment saying: “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,’’ The Boston Globe reports.