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Microsoft Word to Stay On Shelves For Now

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Microsoft has won its appeal to impose a stay upon an injunction against the sale of Microsoft Word in the United States.

Microsoft last week appealed for a stay against an injuntion that would prevent the company from selling or importing Microsoft Word to customers in the United States. The injunction was the result of a lawsuit from Toronto-based i4i, a company that won a patent infringement suit against Microsoft at the beginning of August. Along with the injunction, Microsoft was ordered to pay damages amounting to $290 million to i4i.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday granted Microsoft the temporary reprieve yesterday, ruling that the company had done enough to deserve the stay. "We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on September 23," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement.

A spokesperson for i4i told CNet News that the Microsoft's "scare tactics" cannot shield it from the Federal Circuit Court's upcoming review. "Microsoft's scare tactics about the consequences of the injunction cannot shield it from the imminent review of the case by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal on the September 23 appeal," i4i Chairman Loudon Owen said in a statement. "i4i is confident that the final judgment in favor of i4i, which included a finding of willful patent infringement by Microsoft and an injunction against Microsoft Word, was the correct decision and that i4i will prevail on the appeal.

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  • 12 Hide
    jerther , September 4, 2009 4:05 PM
    man, patents are a real greedy business... could you imagine a world without lawyers?

    ...

    *dancing people all around the world, hand to hand*

    brrrrr :( 
  • 12 Hide
    burnley14 , September 4, 2009 4:16 PM
    I was actually rooting for M$ on this case. I think the whole patenting strictly to steal money from someone who wants to pursue progress is ridiculous. At least M$ was doing something with the idea, not just sitting on it until the time was right to file a lawsuit.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    jerther , September 4, 2009 4:05 PM
    man, patents are a real greedy business... could you imagine a world without lawyers?

    ...

    *dancing people all around the world, hand to hand*

    brrrrr :( 
  • 12 Hide
    burnley14 , September 4, 2009 4:16 PM
    I was actually rooting for M$ on this case. I think the whole patenting strictly to steal money from someone who wants to pursue progress is ridiculous. At least M$ was doing something with the idea, not just sitting on it until the time was right to file a lawsuit.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2009 4:24 PM
    burnley14, You really need to keep up with the details of the case before you open your stupid mouth and make yourself look more stupid.

    i4i was using the patented technology. Microsoft willfully infringed on the patent and intended to make i4i's technology obsolete.

    They defintely were not sitting on the patent.
  • 5 Hide
    grieve , September 4, 2009 4:42 PM
    ImperiexMicrosoft willfully infringed on the patent and intended to make i4i's technology obsolete.They defintely were not sitting on the patent.

    Im not doubting you, but i wish you informed us how they are using the patent or a link or something to back your statement up.
  • 0 Hide
    tektek , September 4, 2009 4:44 PM
    i'm with MS on this one.. its just an example that no matter how perfect a system is... it will still have flaws.. i just wish the consumer would gain from this instead of just corporations.
  • 2 Hide
    jerther , September 4, 2009 4:44 PM
    Quote:
    burnley14, You really need to keep up with the details of the case before you open your stupid mouth and make yourself look more stupid.

    I agree with the keep up part, but not the look stupid part. this one was very unnessary...
  • 3 Hide
    alikum , September 4, 2009 4:48 PM
    I'll have to support burnley14. The patent system is broken. It only restricts us from advancing in technology and at the same time, restricting competition. XML is an open language that defines data, much like HTML defining layout. Since i4i claims that they are the founder of the architecture, then improve it and go head on against Microsoft. Wait, i4i isn't even targeting business/consumer market in the first place.
  • 5 Hide
    jerther , September 4, 2009 4:54 PM
    alikumI'll have to support burnley14. The patent system is broken. It only restricts us from advancing in technology and at the same time, restricting competition.


    More on this here :) 
  • 1 Hide
    joex444 , September 4, 2009 5:13 PM
    Whoa. Is that Toronto that i4i is from? As in, CANADA or Ohio?

    Man it better be Ohio.
  • 3 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 4, 2009 5:17 PM
    Microsofts spends millions settling cases each year simply to avoid a costly legal battle. There must be a reason for them to keep fighting this. $290 million seems a bit insane to pay for a patent like that.
  • 9 Hide
    danish_2828 , September 4, 2009 5:22 PM
    Can you imagine if AutoDesk would start filing lawsuits as well for all the numerous companies that have integrated the use and manipulation of DWG and DXF files in their software? Most 3D drafting such as: ProE, 3D Studio Max, Libra, and others some how can import, create and manipulate those files. Heck even Photoshop CS4 can manipulate 3D DXF files now. Does that mean those companies shouldn't be using that file format and they should be taken off the shelf? Should Adobe Illustrator 5-CS4 be taken from shelf since it can manipulate 2D DXF and DWG files?

    No. I feel that the ability of software companies to use the same file types creates competition towards the advancement of better product. While at the same time making it possible for those softwares to be compatible with each other and if a customer decides that the competition has better software they can upgrade or change to it comfortably.
  • 3 Hide
    alikum , September 4, 2009 5:24 PM
    danish_2828Can you imagine if AutoDesk would start filing lawsuits as well for all the numerous companies that have integrated the use and manipulation of DWG and DXF files in their software? Most 3D drafting such as: ProE, 3D Studio Max, Libra, and others some how can import, create and manipulate those files. Heck even Photoshop CS4 can manipulate 3D DXF files now. Does that mean those companies shouldn't be using that file format and they should be taken off the shelf? Should Adobe Illustrator 5-CS4 be taken from shelf since it can manipulate 2D DXF and DWG files?No. I feel that the ability of software companies to use the same file types creates competition towards the advancement of better product. While at the same time making it possible for those softwares to be compatible with each other and if a customer decides that the competition has better software they can upgrade or change to it comfortably.

    That's precisely the point.
  • 2 Hide
    danish_2828 , September 4, 2009 5:26 PM
    If Microsoft doesn't win the case. I think they should start selling Word without DOCX or XML abilities. Then make a free "i4i" compatibility patch that allows them to use the docx or XML file types.
  • 2 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 4, 2009 5:38 PM
    danish_2828Can you imagine if AutoDesk would start filing lawsuits as well for all the numerous companies that have integrated the use and manipulation of DWG and DXF files in their software? Most 3D drafting such as: ProE, 3D Studio Max, Libra, and others some how can import, create and manipulate those files. Heck even Photoshop CS4 can manipulate 3D DXF files now. Does that mean those companies shouldn't be using that file format and they should be taken off the shelf? Should Adobe Illustrator 5-CS4 be taken from shelf since it can manipulate 2D DXF and DWG files?No. I feel that the ability of software companies to use the same file types creates competition towards the advancement of better product. While at the same time making it possible for those softwares to be compatible with each other and if a customer decides that the competition has better software they can upgrade or change to it comfortably.

    Well said!
  • 4 Hide
    tester24 , September 4, 2009 6:09 PM
    Has anybody heard of i4i before this?
  • -2 Hide
    hakesterman , September 4, 2009 6:13 PM
    Microsoft abuses any patient that they feel they can astract money from. They would just soon run you over than look at you. They are so obcesed with being number one that they would probably sell their own mother for a buck if it was in the best interest of the company.

  • 1 Hide
    backbydemand , September 4, 2009 7:13 PM
    tester24Has anybody heard of i4i before this?


    No, prior to this story, no one had ever heard of i4i and I challenge a single person on this forum to say they have without being called a big fat liar.

    hakestermanMicrosoft abuses any patient that they feel they can astract money from.


    What, you mean like when Apple does it with the company logo from the Beatles, the iPhone name from Cisco, the iPod menu system from Creative, etc etc etc etc onto infinity?

    Get over it, even if i4i did own the patent, where are the millions of successful copies of their software being sold. Oh, hang on, isn't it something that is used for Open Source (ie FREE) software?
  • 3 Hide
    geoffs , September 4, 2009 8:55 PM
    backbydemandGet over it, even if i4i did own the patent, where are the millions of successful copies of their software being sold. Oh, hang on, isn't it something that is used for Open Source (ie FREE) software?
    No, i4i has stated that Open Office does NOT use XML in a way that violates the patent. It's only MS's use of "Custom XML" in docx (Word 2007/2008) files that violates the patent.

    i4i had a product (targeted at a limited market) that uses it's patented technology, so all the complaints/arguments about them just patenting an idea, not using it, not producing a product, etc are all simply from people who haven't looked into this, many of the articles on this injunction mention that i4i does actually have a product that uses this technology and has since the late 1990's.

    I've read the patent application and I'm not convinced the patent should have been issued, I'm pretty certain there is prior art that should invalidate it, but that remains to be demonstrated.

    The big problem for MS is that they have internal email showing they knew of the i4i patent and chose to violate it for commercial gain anyway. Had they challenged the patents validity, I might have some sympathy for MS, but they didn't. Instead, they willfully violated the patent and now want to be excused from the consequences of that choice. You knowingly break the law....

    Quote:
    What, you mean like when Apple does it with the company logo from the Beatles, the iPhone name from Cisco, the iPod menu system from Creative, ...?
    Trademarks and copyrights are completely different rules than patents. There was never any confusion between Apple Computer and Apple Records, that was bogus from the start. iPhone was settled between Apple and Cisco. The Creative patent covering the menu system will be invalidated on prior art if anyone ever challenges it (yes, I do know of prior art on that one).
  • 2 Hide
    geoffs , September 4, 2009 8:58 PM
    danish_2828If Microsoft doesn't win the case. I think they should start selling Word without DOCX or XML abilities. Then make a free "i4i" compatibility patch that allows them to use the docx or XML file types.
    Can't do that, it's illegal to violate a patent regardless of whether you sell, give away, or only use the offending product yourself. Patents are "EXCLUSIVE", you can not use it without a license from the patent owner.
  • 1 Hide
    ThisIsMe , September 5, 2009 9:18 AM
    What about OpenOffice.org? It technically uses the exact same method of editing and injecting xml code into files for formatting purposes. The end result is even the same, and they do it on purpose so that it is compatible with MS Word.

    Well, I guess since it isn't Microsoft, they don't get bashed. Besides, they'd probably just use the "Well, they did it first!" argument anyways
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