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Supreme Court To Review Microsoft Patent Case

Publication Date: 
November 30, 2010
Source: 
The Seattle Times
Author: 
Sharon Pian Chan

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday to review a $290 million judgment against Microsoft could change how juries weigh evidence in patent disputes.

Microsoft was ordered to pay the damages and make changes to Word after Toronto-based software developer i4i won a lawsuit claiming Microsoft had infringed on an XML editing feature.

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"It would make it somewhat easier for defendants to invalidate weak patents," said Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor who filed an amicus brief in support of Microsoft on behalf of business and law professors. "In part, we don't know because we don't know how much of a role the presumption of validity really plays in jury deliberations, but it might give courts more comfort in invalidating some patents pretrial."