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Posted on April 19, 2011 | tags


Tech: Microsoft’s patent case hits an unsympathetic Supreme Court

  • It’s a bad thing not to give protection to an invention that deserves it; and it is just as bad a thing to give protection to an invention that doesn’t deserve it. Both can seriously harm the economy. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get a better tool, if possible, to separate the sheep from the goats.
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer • Offering a very smart insight during yesterday’s arguments in the Microsoft/i4i patent case which has been floating around the ether for a couple of years. Microsoft’s pushing to make obvious patents a little less patentable, and they have a lot riding on the case. See, i4i owns a key patent involving custom XML in a document — something Microsoft used heavily in Word until the patent case came up. They could end up owing hundreds of millions otherwise. Other justices, particularly Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan, weren’t so kind to Microsoft’s case. Fun fact: Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from this case because he owns Microsoft stock. If the vote goes 4-4, the lower court ruling stands and Microsoft loses. source
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