Originally Posted by Scorpii
Wow, doesn't seem like the best outcome to me...
I don't know enough about US patent law to comment much, but I read through the lawsuit and some of the background, and it seems that $290 million is a ridiculous amount...
Would the technology really be worth that much to either Microsoft or i4i?? I highly doubt it, I don't even know what component of Word it is that is infringing (something about database management, which I doubt the majority of Word users will be using), and I myself definitely haven't used it.
Seems that the amount of damages awarded is way too high, and in this sense I don't think the result was right.
If I am not mistaken, they blatantly used a patented set of coding from i4i that was licensed by the two men who founded i4i. It was only a temporary license and well Microsoft went on to continue using it without admission to the two gentlemen, and the code is a basis for everything Microsoft Office 2010 (I think even some 2007 was also based on it.) Instead of paying i4i, they just ignored the situation till the men just brought it to the judge last year or the year before. They even provided emails between developers and them, asking how their code was being used and it was explicitly stated not being used, and furthermore, Microsoft had internal emails referencing the code they were licensing and many developers were given the go ahead to use the code, despite being restricted in use in the licensing agreement, and restricted in time-frame to being used.
I believe the settlement is a percentage of net-profit gained from Office 2010 (over a period of time and future profits based on the trending sales.) In other words they get a big fat check for the past, present, and future, uses of the specific XML code used by MS. In exchange they now have to give up any claims on existing software usage by Microsoft. Although this doesn't make Microsoft immune from unreleased projects, or projects that again use this companies coding with out the foresight to notify to the two men.
From my understanding, the core features of Office 2010 wouldn't even exist in its current form without the 2 developers.Edited by RagingCain - 6/13/11 at 12:47pm