MSFT Hoped Word 11 Would Render i4i "Obsolete"

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.

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  • dheadley
    I've been posting about this for days since the whole story broke. People were slamming on i4i about being a patent troll and greedy for the $200 million court win. But they were only asking for $25 million and a jury made it $200 million after hearing a lot of evidence that MS willfully infringed on the patent and would not even talk to i4i about licensing while knowing they should be.
  • scook9
    So they KNOWINGLY infringed on a the hell are you going to appeal that!?

    Way to go MS.....sort of earned this one
  • deltatux
    How many Microsoft employees does it take to screw a lightbulb?

    None. They would just make lightbulbs obsolete with their own newer versions.

  • Other Comments
  • hellwig
    Traditional Microsoft tactics. Copy and Destroy. We're talking pre-buy_out_all_your_competitors here. This is Microsoft's bread and butter business strategy we're talking about.

    Although, with all the blacklash they've gotten from the EU recently (and to a lesser extent, the meaningless anti-trust decision from the U.S. government years ago), you'd think they'd be less blatant about it.
  • scook9
    So they KNOWINGLY infringed on a the hell are you going to appeal that!?

    Way to go MS.....sort of earned this one
  • Onus
    Willful infringement? That changes things. A reasonable payout to i4i for its losses is fine, but exhorbitant amounts for "special damages" will just raise prices for everyone. Rather than paying obscene damages, the Microsoft executives guilty of planning and carrying out the willful infringement need to go to jail, or stand before a firing squad. GAME OVER.