Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

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Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by verdilak » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:38 pm

Apple Insider wrote:Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

By Neil Hughes
Published: 02:10 PM EST

A judge has ruled that Microsoft cannot sell its flagship document processing application, Word, to customers, in a ruling stemming from a U.S. patent infringement lawsuit.

The decision rests on the program's ability to open .XML, .DOCX or .DOCM files, based on custom XML included in the filetypes. In the ruling, Judge Leonard Davis in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas -- where patent suits are often filed for favorable rulings -- sided with the plaintiff, i4i Inc., of Toronto, Ontario.

i4i has alleged that Microsoft violated a patent the company owns regarding the reading of XML files. Judge Davis's ruling, issued Tuesday, takes effect 60 days after the signing. Microsoft plans to appeal the decision.

The ruling applies to all versions of Word that can read XML. That includes Word 2003, Word 2007, and any future releases Microsoft may create that fall into the same category.

The ruling made no mention of Office 2008 for Mac or Word 2008 for Mac. Office 2010 for Windows is planned for release in the first half of next year.

"In accordance with the Court's contemporaneously issued memorandum opinion and order in this case," the ruling reads, "Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined from the following actions with Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 (collectively "Infringing and Future Word Products") during the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449."

Earlier this year, i4i was awarded $200 million in damages in the same case by a jury. Microsoft has also appealed that decision.

On a separate -- but perhaps related -- note, Mac BU, Microsoft's Mac software development house responsible for Office for Mac (which includes Word), had previously scheduled a conference call with members of the press for Thursday afternoon. Prior to scheduling the event, Mac BU did not reveal what the announcement would be.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by Rayven » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:04 pm

Holy.......shit.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by verdilak » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:30 pm

Yup.
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"I'm imagining Kiera Knightly, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina and Meg Fox sitting around your map wearing bandanas vigorously shaking fists full of d20s." - Aval Penworth, in regards to a map I made
"We're talking about the GM that made us fight giant Fruit, Verd is totally unpredictable." - Nikurasu (one of my players)
Everyone is an atheist about some gods, we just went one god further. - Richard Dawkins
Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
To the human body, a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of sugar are identical.
"Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It is where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more." - Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by Aluman » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:18 pm

I thought W3C developed/ran XML not I4I?
Answered while figuring out the district its in: XML itself isn't at cause but a specific implemntation that Word is capable of opening apparently
without having paid i4i for.

Also 1994+20 = 2014. Microsoft can easily extend the court appeals and everything else to post that date (The filling date of the listed patent) which means: They can circumvent the IP law.

Thirdly: Why is a Canadian firm filling in the USPTO?

Fourthly: Why is the 5th circuit involved? Seems more likely that A). its the 9th's affair (As foreign cases are usually tried in the defendants territory) or secondly: the 3rd where i4i LP (The only American subsiderly I can find) would be located.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by NulSyn » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:22 pm

This'll end up changing nothing.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by Aluman » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:25 pm

Prolly as I look at it further, its actually typical for first round to go the first way, then when the Federal Circuit hears the appeal it gets overturned. Due to the quagmire of oddities of US IP laws.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by Zamion » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:01 am

i think the judge was probly just wanting to stick it to the uber rich microsoft sense apple can open those xml files but they didnt stop them from stoping..its just a way of saying hey you make to much money type deal......


can word create xml files? i dont have word on my comp so i cant test it.
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Re: Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

PostPosted by Aluman » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:41 am

Yes, XML itself is just a markup language like HTML. It basically combines RTF (Which was one of the first patents microsoft got) and HTML with some modern conviences.

The suit wasn't about XML itself, which is more or less open source. It was about a particular way of utilizing XML.

Edit> But ultimately you are right, both the summary judgement and shutting down the licenses seems more like an attempt to garner attention then real summation. I mean its going to end up at the federal circuit (Who handles patent cases), who have an eighteen month backlog (last I saw) so we are looking at mid 2011 for the advance motions. Then from reading the patent paper work, there is a decent chance it will be thrown out for being an obvious extension of XML itself. Even if it doesn't, the 200 million seems kind of random amount for what is a minor ability.

Then there is the fact that its important enough (as software patent limits are a Very murky area of a murky set of laws) that the USSC will more than likely hear it, which means at least 2014 by the time any judgement becomes enforceable. Which means that from my memory of patent laws that i4i will never be able to block word as it will be past the filling+20 point.
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