i4i Just the Beginning of Texas Patent Cases for Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

In the aftermath of i4i's patent infringement victory over Microsoft in a Texas courtroom, two more small companies are making their way to the Lone Star State in hopes that David will slay Goliath once more.

About a week ago, Toronto-based i4i made headlines around the world after a shock courtroom victory that saw Microsoft ordered to pay them $240 million in patent infringement damages. Microsoft was also asked to stop selling their popular Word software within 60 days of the ruling.

Companies Seek Unspecified Damages

Now, Allvoice Developments (a U.S. provider of speech recognition systems) and EMG Technology (a mobile software developer) have both filed suits against Microsoft to be tried in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Texas. This is the same court where Judge Leonard Davis ruled in favor of i4i. (Source: itbusinessedge.com)

While many would view the new cases against Microsoft as two more hopefuls looking for a huge payday, both companies appear to have valid complaints.

Allvoice claims that the speech recognition support built into Windows XP and Windows Vista is in violation of their patent on the technology. Allvoice is further backing up their claim by alleging that Microsoft had discussed cooperating with Allvoice in the past, but later rescinded.

EMG Technology, on the other hand, claims that Windows CE, PocketPC and Windows Mobile products are all in violation of their patent for viewing web content on a mobile device.

Allvoice and EMG are both seeking unspecified damages.

Leveled Playing Field

Microsoft has been on the wrong end of hundreds of new lawsuits these last few years. However, those small companies who bring cases against the larger corporations have long been viewed as money-seeking, patent-wielding nuisances. Thanks to the actions of Judge Davis, the playing field has now been leveled. (Source: informationweek.com)

Since the i4i case, Microsoft has announced plans to appeal the ruling, starting with an emergency motion that would avert having to post a bond for millions of dollars in damages. If successful, the motion would also cover the $40 million the judge imposed for "trial misconduct" against Microsoft's attorneys.

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