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Microsoft Loses at Top U.S. Court in Patent Case Involving Toronto's i4i

June 09, 2011

June 9, 2011 (Mountain View, CA) - Michael Sacksteder, partner in the Litigation Group of Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in several articles surrounding the Supreme Court's decision in the Microsoft v. i4i patent dispute, including the Bloomberg article "Microsoft Loses at Top U.S. Court in Patent Case Involving Toronto's i4i," the Law360 article "Invalidity Must Be Clear and Convincing: High Court" and the Daily Journal article "High Court Affirms Standards for Patents."

On June 9, 2011, the Supreme Court issued their ruling in the closely watched case of Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership. Despite Microsoft's support from many large corporations, the Court ultimately ruled against Microsoft in their long-running patent dispute with i4i LP.

The Justices unanimously rejected Microsoft's argument surrounding a less demanding "clear and convincing" patent standard, upholding the lower court's ruling in i4i's favor. Some attorneys have voiced their opinion that this decision did not go far enough in clarifying the "clear and convincing" standard at issue.

"We don't know what 'clear and convincing' means, but it sounds impressive," said Michael Sacksteder, who represents technology companies that supported Microsoft. "It's something a skilled litigator can use to his or her advantage." (Bloomberg)

"When there is prior art that was not considered by the patent office, there are going to be fights over how to instruct the jury about applying the clear and convincing standard," said Mr. Sacksteder. (Law360)

Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Alito and Scalia, filed a concurring opinion in the case, emphasizing that the clear and convincing standard only applies to questions of fact—not the legal question of patent invalidity. Mr. Sacksteder said he would use this concurrence for jury instructions and summary judgment motions. (Daily Journal)

Click here to view the full Bloomberg article.