Jury Orders Microsoft to pay $200M in damages to i4i

i4i, the Toronto-based software firm announced on Tuesday it received a $200 million patent infringement verdict from a federal jury who found Microsoft Corp., the world' largest software maker, willfully infringed on an i4i patent.

The jury agreed with i4i that certain versions of Microsoft's Word 2003 and Word 2007 products use “extensible mark-up language”, or XML, in a way that infringes i4i’s U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449.

The verdict was issued on May 20, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The verdict followed an eight day trial before the Honorable Leonard Davis. The $200 million award reflects the jury's determination of a reasonable royalty for Microsoft's infringement, said i-4-i.

For its part, Microsoft unsurprisingly begs to differ, and says that the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid, adding that it will, of course, ask the court to overturn the verdict.

The Court can increase the award based on the willfulness finding, and i4i can seek a court order blocking further use of its invention by Microsoft. To date this year, the verdict represents the fourth largest jury verdict in the US and the second‐largest patent jury award, according to Bloomberg.

Michel Vulpe, founder of i4i and inventor of the patent, says “We are very pleased with the verdict. The jury heard extensive testimony and evidence and concluded that Microsoft had indeed infringed our patent. Mr. Vulpe adds, we feel quite vindicated with this result.