Supreme Court Upholds Penalty Against Microsoft

Company ordered to pay $290 million in damages.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling ordering software giant Microsoft to pay $290 million to a Canadian company in a patent infringement case.

Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft in 2007 claiming that some versions of popular Word software violated patent rights it held to XML technology.

In December 2009, a US Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict and lower court ruling in the case ordering Microsoft to pay $290 million to i4i.

The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the appeals court ruling on Thursday.

Microsoft was accused by i4i of infringing on a 1998 XML patent in its Word 2003 and Word 2007 programs. Word uses XML, or Extensible Markup Language, to open .XML, .DOCX, and .DOCM files.

Copyright by Agence France-Presse, 2011

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