Patent Strategy: i4i and Microsoft

ms-word-2007.gifPatent enforcement and defence strategy often involves a coordinated approach, including patent infringement litigation, patent reexamination before the USPTO, and complaints filed with the International Trade Commission, a U.S. trade panel that can ban importation of infringing goods.  

The i4i suit against Microsoft provides a good case-study. In its long-running patent infringement dispute against Microsoft, the Canadian tech company i4i has won another battle (though the war is far from over). Microsoft challenged the vailidty of i4i’s patent, and the USPTO recently upheld the patent’s validity.

Microsoft appealed the original trial decision, and that appeal was dismissed. Microsoft filed another appeal for a en banc re-hearing, and that appeal was dismissed. The options are now to pursue the appeal up to the US Supreme Court, or appeal the USPTO’s reexamination decision.

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