Friday, April 8, 2011

Microsoft wants different standard in patent fight

In its final push before presenting arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court, Microsoft filed a legal brief late today arguing that the court shouldn't require it to offer "clear and convincing evidence" to overcome the traditional presumption that patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are valid.

The filing comes just 11 days before Microsoft and i4i, a tiny Toronto company, presents arguments in a hearing at the court. That hearing is likely the last opportunity Microsoft has to defend itself against a $200 million judgment that held that the company infringed on i4i's patents.

The response brief attempts to rebut i4i's claims that Microsoft should be held to the "clear and convincing" standard. Microsoft wants the court to apply the lower preponderance of the evidence standard, which would make it easier to invalidate i4i's claims.

"i4i's argument rests on a distorted view of (the Patent and Trademark Office's) examination and reexamination procedures," Microsoft argues in its filing.

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