The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC has ruled unanimously in favor of i4i in the long-running i4i v Microsoft patent infringement lawsuit. The Supreme Court did not accept Microsoft’s request to lower the standard of proof, for challenges to the validity of a properly issued patent, from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of evidence. As a result of this decision, i4i has won its patent infringement case against Microsoft. At trial the jury ruled in favor of i4i and awarded $200 million in damages (now upwards of $300 million with enhancements and interest). The Honorable Judge Leonard Davis entered judgment on the verdict and issued a permanent injunction against Microsoft.
Loudon Owen, Chairman of i4i, says, “Microsoft tried to gut the value of patents by introducing a lower standard for invalidating patents. It is now 100% clear that you can only invalidate a patent based on “clear and convincing” evidence.” Owen adds, “This is one of the most significant business cases the Court has decided in decades. Affirmation of the Federal Circuit on a ruling in favor of patent holders is virtually unprecedented. While this ruling maintains the prevailing standard, the innovation community must be ever-vigilant to defend its property rights.”
Michel Vulpe, founder of i4i and co-inventor, says, “This has been a 16 year journey with a clearly defined purpose – to build a world leader in managing data. It is an important stepping stone for i4i and we can now continue to build our company the way we intended.” Vulpe adds, “Our army was small but mighty and we are grateful to our team, partners, investors, legal counsel, those who filed amici briefs, and everyone supporting the rights of patent holders. Naturally, we are particularly appreciative of our shareholders who continue to support us.” i4i’s legal team includes WilmerHale, McKool Smith, Finnegan Henderson, and Sterne Kessler.
In March 2007, i4i sued Microsoft for willful infringement of its patent. On May 20, 2009, the jury found i4i’s patent to have been willfully infringed, and ordered Microsoft to pay damages to i4i. On August 11, 2009, the Honorable Judge Leonard Davis issued a final judgment against Microsoft that included
(a) an award of damages in excess of $290 million USD to i4i (including enhanced damages, interest and postverdict damages)
(b) a permanent injunction, which took effect on January 11, 2010
Microsoft unsuccessfully appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in late 2009, and also unsuccessfully sought a rehearing in early 2010. This was the largest patent infringement judgment ever upheld by the Federal Circuit. The case was heard by the eight Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States on April 18, 2011.