Here's an unexpected intellectual property update for you: Remember when I said i4i was the final word in the Microsoft-i4i patent infringement suit concerning XML functionality in Microsoft Word? It seems that was not, in fact, the final word.
In July, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reaffirmed the validity of Toronto-based i4i's patent for "a method for manipulating a document's content and architecture separately." A few months earlier, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had denied Microsoft's request for a rehearing en banc after upholding the record $290 million judgment against Microsoft.
A hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court was Microsoft's last shot. Experts said the company's chances were slim given the court grants review in only one percent of the cases in which review is sought. But according to an alert from the Texas law firm of Scott and Scott, the nation's highest court agreed to hear Microsoft's argument.
According to Scott and Scott attorney Keli Johnson:
Microsoft believes the presumption that a patent is legal if approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should be amended to become a stricter standard. The Supreme Court's ruling on this matter may significantly impact patent infringement claims.