Right back at ya, Judge Davis. That’s the message we took away from the 102-page brief (pdf) Microsoft filed Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, seeking to overturn a $290 million patent infringement judgment entered earlier this month against Microsoft by Tyler, Texas, federal district court Judge Leonard Davis. In his his ruling (pdf), on behalf of a Canadian company called i4i, Davis also entered an injunction against Microsoft — which prevents it from selling certain versions of Microsoft Word — and took Microsoft’s lead counsel Matt Powers to task for making “improper arguments” at trial.

Well, what the judge can deal out, the trial lawyer can return in spades. In the first line of their preliminary statement, Microsoft’s lawyers — including Powers — take aim at Davis. “In patent cases, even more than most, the trial judge’s role as a gatekeeper is crucial,” they write.