Microsoft v. i4i: The Amici Have Spoken


On April 18, 2011, the Supreme Court will hear the much anticipated oral arguments on the Microsoft v. i4i case. This case is being hailed as one of the most important patent cases to reach the Supreme Court in the last 10 years as it has the potential to change long standing precedent in patent law. The Supreme Court is being asked to determine how much proof must be provided when an accused infringer alleges that a patent is invalid.  As the law stands now, in order to invalidate a patent, a defendant must prove that the patent is invalid by “clear and convincing evidence.”  Microsoft is now asking the Court to lower the burden of proof for an invalidity defense to a preponderance of the evidence standard.

To date, 20 amicus briefs were submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of Microsoft and as of last Friday, 22 amicus briefs were filed on behalf of i4i (including one filed by the U.S. solicitor general).  As you can imagine, the patent community has been furiously writing about the numerous amici briefs that have been filed on behalf of both parties.  Here’s a sample of what the patent world is saying about this potentially landmark case……..

1.  US government sides against Microsoft in Supreme Court patent case (Computerworld)

2.  BIO’s Amicus Brief: Microsoft v. i4i (Patently BIOtech)

3. Microsoft v. i4i: Shifting Weight of Evidence versus Shifting Burden of Proof (PatentlyO)

4.  Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership (SCOTUS Blog)

5.  Microsoft v. i4i (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

6.  United States government and 21 other amicus briefs back i4i in U.S. Supreme Court Case against Microsoft (i4i press release)

7.  Opening Round Briefs in Microsoft v. i41 (IP Duck)

8.  Microsoft v. i4i: Amici Make Strong Argument for Supreme Court Review of Patent Invalidity Standard (Patent Law Practice Center)

9.  Briefing Microsoft v. i4i: Amicus Briefs Supporting Easier Invalidation of Patents in Court (Stanford Law School Blog)

10. Supreme Court Patent Watch:141 Files Brief in Microsoft Case (IPWatchdog)

11.  U.S. Gov’t Supports Keeping Patents Difficult to Invalidate (Techdirt)

12.  Amici Support i4i at Supreme Court in Microsoft Patent Case (IPWatchdog)

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One Response to “Microsoft v. i4i: The Amici Have Spoken”

  1. patent_litigation says:

    It’s an encouraging sign that heavyweights like the DOJ and BIO are supporting i4i. If their arguments succeed, then i4i and future patentees can have it both ways — they can keep the clear-and-convincing standard, but with certain evidence being given greater “weight.” Brilliant. As far as I’m concerned, i4i won this patent litigation fairly at the lower courts, and Microsoft should have just let it go long before now.

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