Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Microsoft prohibited from selling MS Word due to patent infringement!

A CNET news today reported about Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has issued a permanent injunction that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML.

In March 2007, the Toronto based plantiff, i4i sued Microsoft alleging that Microsoft voilated its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) for a document system that eliminated the need for manually embedded formatting codes.

In May 2009, a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled that the custom XML tagging features of MS Word 2003 and MS Word 2007 infringed on i4i's patent and ordered Microsoft to pay $200 million in the case.

In Tuesday's ruling, Microsoft was also ordered to pay an additional $40 million for willful infringement, as well as $37 million in prejudgment interest. The order requires Microsoft to comply with the injunction within 60 days and forbids Microsoft from testing, demonstrating, or marketing Word products containing the contested XML feature.

I'm sure this will not be the end of the story. Let's see how Microsoft react on this.

Source: CNET News - Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word by Steven Musil.


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