Microsoft lost a battle to a small Canadian company on a patent. It has lost its final appeal against a judgment ruling that it pays a small Canadian company nearly $300m to settle a patent dispute. The United States Supreme Court said Microsoft must pay following rulings by lower courts that it had infringed a patent on a technology linked to the Microsoft Word, a widely used word-processing program.
Microsoft’s troubles with i4i extend back to August 2009, when the federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas ordered that all copies of Word 2003 and 2007 be removed from retail channels within 90 days. Microsoft’s attorneys managed to argue a delay, only to have the U.S. Court of Appeals uphold the verdict four months later.
A Toronto-based company called i4i first sued Microsoft four years ago, arguing that it owned the technology behind a tool on the popular software. Microsoft now only sells versions of the word-processing software that do not contain the technology.
Too good for the company, Microsoft might have acquired them with less than $300m. But now, they exist and have a badge of defeating the monstrous behemoth that Bill Gates built.