I4i claims patent backing against Microsoft

Canadian based software outfit i4i has claimed it has a lot of backing against Microsoft in its battle over XML software patents which are under the bonnet of Word and Office.

i4i sued Microsoft in May 2007,claiming that it wrote the custom XML software. A jury agreed with it, but Vole launched numerous appeals.  The case has gotten as far as the Supreme Court.

Now i4i says that it has United States government support and 21 other amicus briefs to back its case against Microsoft.

A spokesman said that each of these briefs wanted the Supreme Court to uphold the decisions of the jury and the two lower courts in favour of i4i.

Along with the government, the briefs were penned by individual inventors, former military officers, universities, venture capitalists, intellectual-property groups, and large and small companies from the medical, pharmaceutical, computing, energy, chemical, finance, and many other industries and industry associations.

The feeling from i4i and its briefs is that if Microsoft wins this case it would be impossible to enforce any patent in the US.

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case on April 18. A decision is expected by the end of June.