Microsoft's busy day at the courthouse

The software maker loses its effort for a full appeals court review in the i4i Word injunction case; meanwhile Redmond files suits of its own against Datel over an Xbox 360 controller.

It's turning out to be a busy day for Microsoft's legal team.

The software maker on Thursday lost its bid to have a full appeals court review I4i's patent case in which the Toronto company was awarded both millions in monetary damages and an injunction against the inclusion of custom XML features in Word. Separately, meanwhile, the company is suing a maker of Xbox add-ons over that company's Xbox 360 controller.

A Microsoft Xbox controller (middle), flanked by two of Datel's controllers for the Xbox 360. Microsoft is suing Datel for patent infringement. Microsoft

In the I4i case, Microsoft said it is still figuring out its next move, which could include asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, seeking a new hearing, or just taking its lumps. "We're disappointed with the decision," spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement. "As far as next steps, we continue to believe there are important matters of patent law that still need to be properly addressed, and we are considering our options for going forward."

For his part, I4i chairman Loudon Owen said in a statement that "this has been a long and arduous process, but this decision is a powerful reinforcement of the message that smaller enterprises and inventors who own intellectual property can and will be protected."

Microsoft has already removed the custom XML feature from shipping versions of Word in order to comply with the injunction.

On the Datel front, Microsoft has filed complaints in U.S. District Court in Seattle and with the International Trade Commission alleging that Datel's Xbox 360 game controllers infringe on Microsoft's patents. The company is seeking both injunctions against Datel as well as monetary damages.

"We have a robust licensing program that ensures high standards and contributes to a great experience for the Xbox gamer community," Kutz said. "We have a responsibility to protect that program and the companies that are part of it, as well as our own intellectual property."

 

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