Billy goats unite behind Microsoft to clear out patent trolls

TechEYE: "Microsoft has won support from, well, practically everybody in a bid to persuade the US Supreme Court to make it easier to invalidate patents.

As things stand, an organisation trying to prove a patent invalid has to provide to the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) 'clear and convincing' evidence. Microsoft wants to get this changed so that it only has to provide 'a preponderance' of evidence.

Its petition was triggered by its failure to defend a lawsuit from i4i last year over patented technology in Word. i4i claimed its patent covered editing documents containing markup languages like XML.

But although Microsoft argued that it had been using the technology for a year before the patent was filed, it still lost, costing it $290 million."

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