Microsoft Loses Word Patent Appeal
Don’t get all excited on this, because I’m sure a settlement will come down the road.
That said, an a U.S. Court of Appeals found against Microsoft in a patent dispute with i4i Limited over the use of technology involving XML that Microsoft is using in its word processor, Microsoft Word. The Court of Appeals also allowed the injunction against selling the software to go forward beginning January 11, 2010.
As I said, look for some sort of settlement.
UPDATE: Microsoft has made a statement about this and it can be found here. Essentially they will comply with the order and remove the technology in question from Office 2007. Office 2010 is not affected as it does not contain that technology.
12/22/2009 at 1:28 pm
As I’ve said all along in this case, it’s the stupidest patent ever. How the hell this lawsuit was even approved for consideration is an insult to our justice system.
12/22/2009 at 3:17 pm
gt2l: check this out from Engadget, sheds some more light on the subject:
P.S.- Just to be clear on this, i4i isn’t a patent troll — it’s a a 30 person database design company that shipped one of the first XML plugins for Office and was actually responsible for revamping the entire USPTO database around XML to make it compatible with Word back in 2000. What’s more, the patents involved here don’t cover XML itself, but rather the specific algorithms used to read and write custom XML — so OpenOffice users can breathe easy, as i4i has said the suite doesn’t infringe. Existing Office users should also be fine, as only future sales of Word are affected by the ruling, not any already-sold products.