i4i rebuts ‘each and every’ Microsoft Word defense

Canadian company certain it will win Sept. 23 appeal

Canadian company i4i, the plaintiff in a dispute with Microsoft over alleged patent infringement in Microsoft Word, fired the latest volley in the ongoing case by filing a responding brief yesterday with U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit.

The company’s chairman, Loudon Owen, said that “i4i’s brief refutes each and every one of the same weak defenses Microsoft repackages from the trial and raised on appeal.”

Owen added, “i4i is confident we will prevail on appeal. We believe the final judgment in favor of i4i, which included a finding of willful patent infringement by Microsoft and an injunction against Microsoft Word, was the correct decision.”

The appeal is scheduled to be heard Sept. 23 by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington.

The responding brief from i4i comes less than a week after the U.S. Court of Appeals held that Microsoft can keep selling its Word software by granting a stay in a civil lawsuit .

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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Reader comments

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 Stephen Levine Oklahoma City

I think some of the posters are equating my criticism of the patent process with defense of Microsoft. I am not defending Microsoft per se. Microsoft may also be a patent troll. But two wrongs do not make a right. I still say the patent process needs a major cleanup.

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 Michael D. Long Knoxville, TN

IMHO this patent should never have been awarded, as prior art exists dating back into the 1970's. The concept is utilized in every RDBMS product on the market today; i.e., the metadata used to define table structures and data types is stored separately from the data itself. As there is no legal definition which narrows the scope of "document" to a data file used by an "office" productivity suite, I can only assume that i4i's patent would be infringed in these cases as well. The patent as written is not restricted in scope to XML only.

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 Olde Sarge Northern VA

Software should never have been patented...copyrighted maybe, but never patented. However, that is immaterial to this case. The fact is that Microsoft entered into a partnership relationship with i4i to promote its products among the communities that were moving toward XML and then violated that trust by directly incorporating i4i's technology into its M$ Word/M$ Office Suite. The separation of the metadata from the data within M$ Office products is the innovation that the U.S government and other government customers were looking for to meet privacy and security policy requirements. As usual, M$ was not forthcoming or intent on satisfying this need and was in jeopardy of loosing its lucrative government business. i4i saved M$'s @$$ and in return was double-crossed by M$. It is high time that M$ be hit where it can be hurt, the pocketbook!

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 Nick Vargish

Calling i4i a patent troll is pretty silly, considering that Microsoft easily fills that definition as well. Microsoft uses their huge patent portfolio to stifle innovation and competition, so please don't engage in faux indignation over i4i's actions. Try googling for "ludicrous microsoft patents". You will find such gems as their attempt to patent the logical operator "is not", and other abuses of the system.

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 Spanky T Smackme USA

MS has been losing quit a few suits around the world, and I for one believe their code is based on PUBLIC DOMAIN and have no right to sell it.....The stay in the civil lawsuit is pure BS....To allow MS to continue to reap profits is nothing more than elitist graft.................Just how much did MS PAY THE JUDGE to get the stay ?

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