Microsoft Corp suffered a defeat on Thursday when the Supreme Court upheld a record $290 million jury verdict against the software giant for infringing a small Canadian company’s patent.
The justices unanimously agreed with a U.S. appeals court ruling that went against the world’s largest software company in its legal battle with Toronto-based i4i.
The high court refused to adopt Microsoft’s lower standard to replace the long-standing requirement that a defendant in a patent infringement case prove by clear and convincing evidence that a plaintiff’s patent is invalid.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft had argued that a lower standard of proof involving a “preponderance of the evidence” would make some “bad” patents easier to invalidate while promoting innovation and competition.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the opinion, said the court rejected Microsoft’s contention that a defendant need only persuade a jury of a patent’s invalidity by a preponderance of the evidence.
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