Judge Leonard Davis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, this week ordered a permanent injunction that prohibits Microsoft from selling (or importing to the United States) any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML. The ruling is the result of a patent infringement suit filed by Toronto-based i4i who acquired a patent covering software designed to manipulate "document architecture and content," in 1998.
Today we learn that Microsoft was not only aware of its infringement but hoped that in time, with the release of newer versions, it could render i4i's product "obsolete."
InformationWeek cites court documents in its claims that Microsoft threatened to make i4i's product obsolete with the release of Word 11. "We saw [i4i's products] some time ago and met its creators. Word 11 will make it obsolete," said Martin Sawicki, a member of Microsoft's XML for Word development team, in an e-mail to a colleague. "It looks great for XP though," wrote Sawicki, according to court records.
Microsoft has said it will appeal the judgment which also requires the company to pay i4i $290 million.
Read more on InformationWeek.