This isn’t the holiday gift Microsoft was hoping for.
The Associated Press reports that an appeals court has
upheld the $290 million judgment against Microsoft. It has also prohibited the
company from selling Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office after Jan. 11.
Those software packages are a $20 billion business for the
A little history: In August, a judge in the Eastern District
of Texas issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the company 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,” according to a statement released by attorneys for plantiff, i4i.
Microsoft has said the bar would affect the sale of all versions
of MS Word and MS Office that are currently available. (If you already own a
copy of the program, this ruling won’t affect you at all.)
i4i initially filed suit against Microsoft in March 2007,
saying the company had violated its patent for a system saving users from
having to embed command codes in their documents to control the formatting of
Update: Microsoft says plans to remove the feature from all
copies of Word 2007 and will design Word 2010 without the feature, so it can
keep the product on store shelves.
“While we are moving quickly to address the
injunction issue, we are also considering our 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 U.S. Supreme Court,”
said Kevin Kurtz, director of public affairs for Microsoft, in a statement.