The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against Microsoft in an appeal tied to a major patent dispute, ordering the Redmond-based company to pay a record $290 million patent fine. Supreme Court justices voted unanimously to uphold an earlier judgement stating Microsoft had infringed patents belonging to small Canadian software firm i4i. The judgement comes following a legal battle that began in 2007 when i4i sued the software giant claiming its Microsoft Word productivity software infringed on i4i patents. I4i was awarded $290 million by a federal judge at that time, and Microsoft would proceed to appeal the ruling for four years despite agreeing to alter its software in order to remove the infringing features.