Microsoft v. i4i – The Supreme Court Keeps the Clear and Convincing Standard

In the Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, the Supreme Court had to determine whether the burden of proof for parties alleging patent invalidity should be changed from a clear and convincing standard to a preponderance of the evidence standard.  Yesterday, the Court unanimously decided no!!  Garth M. Dahlen, Ph.D., Partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, sent in this article discussing  the decision and possible ramifications.

Yesterday in Microsoft v. i4i __ U.S. __ (2011)(Sotomayor, J.), opinion below, i4i Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 589 F.3d 1246 (Fed. Cir. 2009)(Prost, J.), the Supreme Court gave a unanimous decision affirming the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §282 requiring clear and convincing evidence for an invalidity defense.

The statute at issue was 35 U.S.C. §282 which states:

A patent shall be presumed valid…. The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity. (more…)

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) (more…)