Microsoft Word threatened with sales ban in the US

Darren Allan

December 23, 2009

Microsoft has come unstuck in a US court battle, losing an appeal in an ongoing patent dispute with Canadian based company i4i.

The infringement in question applies to Microsoft Word 2007 (and Office 2007), which use custom XML elements in violation of a patent that i4i held.

The court upheld an earlier guilty ruling, and ordered the software giant to pay damages of $290 million to i4i (an eye for an eye, indeed). It also forbid the sale of further copies of Word 2007 unless the feature in question is removed from the program by January 11th.

Microsoft has responded swiftly, saying that it will comply and remove the offending elements from its word processor before the injunction deadline.

Kevin Kutz, the Director of Public Affairs at Microsoft said in a statement: “We have been preparing for this possibility since the District Court issued its injunction in August 2009 and have put the wheels in motion to remove this little-used feature from these products.”

He also added: “While we are moving quickly to address the injunction issue, we are also considering our legal options.”


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