Microsoft can’t sell Word, says judge
Microsoft has infringed on a patent, and therefore must stop selling Word within 60 days, a U.S. District Court Judge has ruled.
The injunction from Judge Leonard Davis requires Microsoft to stop selling Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word for Mac 2008. In addition, Microsoft has been ordered to pay $290.6 million in damages and interest to the plaintiff, Toronto-based i4i, Computerworld reports.
The infringed patent pertains to the creation of custom XML documents in a Word file. The markup language lets users create forms or templates, in which words in certain fields are tagged and managed in a database. Governments and large corporations might use this feature, but most users aren’t likely to come across it.
Still, the judge has banished any past or future version of Word that can even open documents using custom XML, a decision that will include the upcoming Word 2010.
It’s an eyebrow-raising verdict, but one that may not have any lasting effects for most users. Microsoft has already filed an appeal, and a stay of the injunction will likely be part of it. Beyond that, Microsoft could simply modify Word to exclude the infringing features, then add them in an update should the company prevail on appeal.
The bigger issue here, as with other tech patents we’ve seen, is whether the patent is so broad that it shouldn’t have been granted in the first place. This patent is somewhat vague in that it describes a general process for a document’s metacodes to feed into a storage unit, which is modified when the codes are updated. Factor in the Eastern Texas courts’ status as a place for patent trolls, and Microsoft has good reason to be “disappointed by the court’s ruling,” in the words of Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kurtz.
For now, let’s just take a moment to envision a world without Word. OpenOffice, anyone?
There are 0 comments
Most popular headlines
- Fri 11 Apr 12:04 by Seán Byrne
Like most DVD and Blu-ray titles, content provider websites such as NBC, RT&Eacu...
- Mon 14 Apr 04:04 by Vroom
Review: Crucial M550 Reviewed by: ANTONIS SAPANIDIS Provided by: Cr...
- Fri 11 Apr 07:04 by DoMiN8ToR
In an effort to offer a complete range of PC hardware, AMD is rumored to be work...
- Mon 14 Apr 05:04 by DoMiN8ToR
Microsoft released two patches already for users who received error codes 800700...
- Thu 10 Apr 07:04 by Kerry Brown
The Netherlands has relatively lenient copyright laws when compared to most of t...