Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Supreme Court's Decision in Microsoft v. i4i - No Change

In Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, 10-200, the Supreme Court considered the issue of the appropriate standard of proof that is applicable when a party seeks to invalidate a patent.  The Federal Circuit has consistently held that the presumption of validity imposed a clear and convincing evidence standard.  Moreover, this standard applied even when the prior art relied upon by the defendant was not previously considered by the patent office.  Microsoft argued that the preponderance of evidence standard should apply to invalidity defenses, at least in those cases where a defendant presented evidence that was not considered by the patent office.  The Supreme Court rejected this argument and has unequivically held that the clear and convincing standard applies to assertions of patent invalidity.  In short, the decision can be summed up in two words - No Change.  

And that concludes the patent law Supreme Court Watch for this term.

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