$200M verdict against Microsoft stands, judge adds $40M more

Marilyn Tennissen Aug. 13, 2009, 10:36am

An East Texas judge has not only denied Microsoft's request to throw out a $200 million jury verdict in a patent infringement case, but has added more than $90 million in additional damages to be paid by the software giant.

In May, a Tyler jury found that Microsoft infringed the patent of Canadian company i4i Ltd.

On Aug. 11, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis shot down Microsoft's arguments to reject the $200 million verdict. He also agreed with i4i that the infringement had been willful and ordered an additional $40 million in punitive damages and $37 million in post-trial interest.

In addition, Judge Davis issued an injunction banning Microsoft from selling products that use customized XML when used with Microsoft Word. It does not affect using Word as an XML file as plain text.

The case was over U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449 issued for a Method and System for Manipulating the Architecture and the Content of a Document Separately From Each Other.

The '449 patented invention created a reliable method of processing and storing content and metacodes separately and distinctly.

At trial, i4i contended that Microsoft's use of certain Word 2003 and all of Word 2007 products for processing XML documents with custom XML elements infringed claims 14, 18, and 20 of the '449 Patent.

i4i further argued that Microsoft's infringement of the patent was willful.

Microsoft said it will appeal, and a spokesperson said the evidence showed the i4i patent is invalid.

Douglas Cawley of McKool Smith in Dallas represented i4i.

Microsoft was represented by attorneys from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

The case is i4i Limited Partnership v. Microsoft Corp., 07cv113, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

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