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Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:33 AM
Pretty major news is the software world:

A judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word, one of its premier products, in its current form due to patent infringement.

Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas 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," according to a statement released by attorneys for the plantiff, i4i.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to request for comment but said in a statement that it planned to appeal the verdict.

Toronto-based i4i sued Microsoft in March 2007 alleging that the Redmond,Wash.-based software giant violated its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) for a document system that eliminated the need for manually embedded formatting codes.

XML--an integral feature in Microsoft Word--is considered a "page description language," with one of its key qualities being that it is readable by people, not just machines. Unlike HTML, which has predefined tags, XML allows developers and users to define their own tags for data, such as price and product.

In May, a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled that the custom XML tagging features of Word 2003 and 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.

Pretty hefty sums even for MS.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:46 PM
Wow - never saw that one coming!

I know microsoft is taking a kicking from better public awareness about alternative products... But hey - they've been slapped for unfair practices... Interesting.


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