Microsoft Loses Court Battle With Canadian Company For Patent Infringement

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Microsoft 2007

(Best Syndication News) Microsoft has lost its appeal with i4i of Toronto Canada, which patented a feature that showed up in MS Word (Read what Microsoft said below). This case, along with others, raises questions about patent law; you don’t need to patent the code, but the idea. The Toronto company had placed a patent on a method of interacting with XML (Extensible Markup Language).

Microsoft lost the appeal. The D.C.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with the Honorable Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. At that hearing i4i was awarded $290 million for infringement. The company also received a “permanent” injunction against Microsoft Corporation for “custom XML” in Word 2003 and Word 2007.

This may be the final verdict in the case and Microsoft will obey the judge’s order. “We are moving quickly to comply with the injunction, which takes effect on January 11, 2010”, Microsoft said in a statement. “This injunction applies only to copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the U.S. on or after the injunction date of January 11, 2010.”

The company has been preparing for this day. Microsoft will not be selling copies of the program with this feature in it after the January cut-off. The company says this only involves copies sold in the United States.

Microsoft will not have to buy back or recall their products already sold to consumers. The new Microsoft Office and Word 2010 do not carry that feature either.

But this may not be over yet and the case may go to the Supreme Court. “While we are moving quickly to address the injunction issue, we are also considering our legal options, which could include a request for a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc or a request for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court.”

By: N Wilson

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