Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Microsoft Loses Word Suit, Will Alter Code

U.S. Court of appeals upheld $290 million lawsuit verdict in favor of Canadian Firm i4i who sued software giant Microsoft for 1998 XML-related patent infringement. As per i4i's lawsuit, Microsoft Word 2003 and Word 2007 carried patented XML-tagging feature. Now, according to the ruling passed, Microsoft is not allowed to sell any Word program that includes patented XML (eXtensible Markup Language) based technology.

Microsoft was sued by i4i for using 1998 XML patent based code in Word 2003 and Word 2007 for opening .XML, .DOCX and .DOCM based files containing custom XML code. In August, Judge Leonard Davis of U.S. District Court of Texas issued an injunction that prohibited Microsoft from selling Microsoft Word products that can open .XML, .DOCX and .DOCM files as per i4i's statement. This injunction will go into effect on January 11 next year.

Kevin Kutz, director of Public Affairs, Microsoft, in an official statement, said, "While we are moving quickly to address the injunction issue, we are also considering our legal options." So, Microsoft will look forward to file appeals in higher courts of justice. Also, the company clarifies that - 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. Copies of these products sold before this date are not affected.

As reported by Reuters, Microsoft is also hooked to pay $290 million as damages that include additional fees and interest.