Microsoft fails in appeal against i4i ruling as it faces £182 million fine and injunction on selling Word

News by Dan Raywood

Microsoft has failed in an appeal against a ruling that prevents it from selling its Word package.

Microsoft has failed in an appeal against a ruling that prevents it from selling its Word package.

This will mean that Microsoft must now pay i4i damages of $290m (£182m) and comply with an injunction, scheduled to go into effect on the 11th January, ending the sales of some versions of Word.

In a statement, Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft claimed that it was moving quickly to comply with the injunction.

He said: “This injunction applies only to copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the US on or after the injunction date of 11th January 2010. Copies of these products sold before this date are not affected.

“With respect to Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007, 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.

“Therefore, we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for US sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction.”

He concluded by stating that whilst it was moving quickly to address the injunction issue, Microsoft was also considering its legal options, which could include a request for a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc or a request for a writ of certiorari from the US Supreme Court.

The ruling was originally made in August this year, with Microsoft ordered to pay more than £175 million for wilfully infringing on a patent by Canadian firm i4i. The patent related to the use of XML that allows formatting of text and makes files readable across different programs, i4i supplies Word XML authoring software and claimed that Microsoft infringed its 1998 patent which allows customers to read XML programming language in order to customise document formats.

The ruling stated that Microsoft could not sell the 2003 and 2007 versions of Word, however it hit back later in the month saying that it was ‘not justice', as it claimed that the damages were ‘unreasonable' and that an i4i survey the court used to decide that amount was flawed.


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