Supreme Court to Microsoft: Pay $290M Patent Violation

High court ruled unanimously against software giant
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
The Microsoft logo is seen on the French branch office of Microsoft, in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, next to Paris.   (AP Photo/ Thibault Camus, File)

(Newser) – A classic David and Goliath scenario played out today as the Supreme Court ordered Microsoft to pay small Toronto software company i4i a $290 million judgment for infringing on one of its patents in its popular Microsoft Word. Lower courts ruled that Microsoft willfully infringed on the patent, and ordered the world's largest software maker to pay i4i $290 million and stop selling versions of Word containing the infringing technology.

Microsoft wanted the multimillion dollar judgment against it erased because it claims a judge used the wrong wording in instructing the jury that came up with the award. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the court's opinion, said the courts have interpreted the law the same way for 30 years, and that the standard of evidential proof shouldn’t change. Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from the case because he owns Microsoft stock.

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