US Supreme Court agrees to hear Microsoft appeal in Word patent case

It's been quite a few months since we've seen any major developments in Microsoft's patent battle with Toronto-based i4i Inc over Microsoft Word, but it looks like things are now about to change in a big way. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the US Supreme Court has today agreed to hear Mircosoft's appeal in the case that dealt it $290 million in damages and prevented it from selling versions of Word that contained the allegedly infringing technology. That could not only have some pretty big ramifications for Microsoft in this particular case, but for patent law in general, as it gets to the very heart of the legal standard for determining the validity of a patent. Needless to say, we'll be watching this one very closely -- the court is expected to hear the case sometime next year.