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Open Source Joins Google, Intel, Apple and Dell to Fight on Behalf of Microsoft in a Patent Case

  • September 30, 2010
  • By Developer.com Staff

Unless you own a bunch of valuable patents, you probably think the world of software patents is kind of crazy. Well it just got a little bit stranger, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Apache Foundation have teamed up with Apple, Google, Intel and Dell to support a patent case that Microsoft is trying to have heard by the Supreme Court.

Microsoft wants the Supreme Court to lower the burden of proof to invalidate a software patent.

"The case involves Microsoft's defense of a patent infringement suit brought by i4i, Ltd.," NetworkWorld's Alan Shimel reported today. "Microsoft lost the case and on appeal, the appeals court affirmed the decision saying that in order to invalidate the patent, Microsoft would have the burden of proving the patent wrong by 'clear and convincing' evidence. Microsoft then filed this Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari asking the Supreme Court to rule that 'clear and convincing' burden was too high."

What Microsoft and those supporting their case want is the "clear and convincing" evidence to be more akin to a civil case in which a "preponderance of the evidence" is the threshold.


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