Microsoft penalized $200M for infringing Word XML file format Patent


Microsoft ® Corporation recently revealed the fact that it has been ordered by Texas federal jury to pay $200 million to a Canadian Software firm named i4i Ltd. The verdict was given in response to a court case filed in 2007 by i4i, claiming that Microsoft® had infringed one of its patents, both in its Microsoft Office Word application and the Windows® Vista operating system.

I4i Ltd, a private company, is based in Toronto, Canada. The company specializes in manufacturing software utilities that can be used to manipulate documents in various formats. According to the statement of the case, the patent infringed by Microsoft® was related to the XML format which is used in MS-Word and in various system processes of Windows® Vista.

The lawsuit was focused on copyright infringement of a software utility used for manipulating the architecture and content separately, as per requirement. Microsoft® has denied infringement of any patent right from the beginning of the case. A spokesman commented on behalf of Microsoft® that, “The evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict.”

The Canadian software firm was called up to hear their comments about the case, but apparently they were not ready to make any comments about the lawsuit at the moment.

Patent infringement lawsuits getting filed against Microsoft®, which is one of the largest software manufacturing companies in the world, is nothing new. They have been dealing with patent infringement suits for years now. Microsoft® has appealed against many lawsuits in the past, and has also won some of those cases. So, Microsoft representatives have high hopes about this case as well, and hope that they will be able to come through with no black spots on the reputation of the company.

Just a few months ago, Uniloc Inc., which specializes in manufacturing anti-piracy software, had filed a lawsuit against Microsoft®, claiming that the software giant had infringed one of the patents held by Uniloc. The patent was related to anti-piracy software commercially released by Uniloc Inc. Microsoft® lost the initial hearing of the case, and was ordered to pay $388 million to Uniloc in damages. Microsoft® appealed against the verdict, and has been fighting against it since then, refusing to pay up.

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