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How Microsoft May Help Open Source in Court

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It's a rare day when proponents of free and open source software are rooting for Microsoft in court, yet that's exactly what's going on with regard to the software giant's battle against Canadian i4i, which specializes in collaborative content technologies.

A judgment was actually made in the case last year, when i4i won support for its charge that Microsoft was infringing a patent i4i holds on custom XML capabilities. Microsoft subsequently lost its appeal of that decision and was ordered to pay i4i more than $290 million, as well as to remove the capabilities in question from Word 2007.

On Monday, however, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Microsoft's new appeal following the submission of no fewer than 11 supporting amicus briefs from the likes of Google, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Apache Software Foundation, and other big-name ventures.

'Clear and Convincing'

Why the rally of support from such unlikely quarters?

Also: Why I'm Rooting for Microsoft

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