Microsoft’s Word trial upheld: Microsoft lose.

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The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $290m patent infringement judgment against Microsoft, won by Toronto-based software company i4i in Texas. It alleges Microsoft’s software infringed on its patents that cover extensible markup language technology.

Microsoft must remove custom-XML editing from Word or face a permanent injunction barring the company from selling recent versions of the software, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled.

Microsoft has been given until January 11 to remove the custom XML functionality — five months from the original August 2009 ruling, according to Bloomberg.

With the failure of the appeal Microsoft must now pay i4i damages of $290m (£182m) and comply with an injunction ending the sales of some versions of Word.

Versions of the software sold before that date, including Word 2003 and Word 2007, will not be hit by the ruling.

Microsoft was accused by i4i of infringing on a 1998 XML patent in its Word 2003 and Word 2007 programs.  Word uses XML, or the Extensible Markup Language, to open .XML, .DOCX, and .DOCM files. The initial ruling in the court dispute between i4i and Microsoft was made in August. At that time Microsoft was found to have infringed the i4i patent and the Canadian firm was awarded damages.

Sources: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/22/microsoft_loses_word_patent_appeal/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8427474.stm

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