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I4i says U.S. court reaffirms its victory over Microsoft in patent dispute

MONTREAL - Software company i4i says it has another legal victory over Microsoft Corp. in its patent infringement dispute.

MONTREAL - Software company i4i says it has another legal victory over Microsoft Corp. in its patent infringement dispute.

I4i said Wednesday a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has again affirmed a lower court decision in its favour involving technology in some versions of Microsoft's Word program.

But i4i chairman Loudon Owen says the case, which has been going on since 2007, still isn't over.

"At this point, we're arguing over quite a substantial sum of money," Owen said from Toronto.

Owen said i4i is waiting to hear if the Court of Appeals will grant Microsoft's request to have all 12 appeal court judges hear the case.

He said he expects Microsoft to go try to get the case heard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Inevitably we feel they will apply to the Supreme Court and that could extend another six to nine months to the process."

Microsoft couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The patent infringement case involves some versions of Microsoft Word 2003 and Word 2007 that use i4i's technology to process electronic documents.

Patent infringement cases are common in the tech world and can take years and millions of dollars to resolve.

Loudon wouldn't say how much i4i has spent battling Microsoft.

The U.S. software giant has been appealing a ruling that i4i won last year that says it infringed on i4i's patents and ordered the U.S. software giant to pay i4i US$290 million.

Owen said Microsoft has been using i4i's technology to allow Word to create and manage data bases and that has allowed the software program to become a "product to develop data bases."

While many of i4i's customers are pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, Merck and Bausch & Lomb, i4i was the supplier technology to the U.S. patent office earlier this decade for an overhaul of its website for patent submissions.

 
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