A U.S. court of appeals on Tuesday upheld a $290
million jury verdict against Microsoft for infringing a
patent held by a small Canadian software firm i4i, and
affirmed an injunction that prevents Microsoft from
selling versions of its Word program which contain the
Last August, a jury in a federal U.S. district court in
Texas ruled in favor of i4i Ltd against Microsoft, for
infringing a patent relating to the use of XML, or
extensible markup language, in the 2003 and 2007
versions of Word.
The jury slapped more than $290 million in damages on
Microsoft and the court granted i4i's motion for an
injunction preventing Microsoft from selling versions
of Word that contain the disputed patent technology.
According to Tuesday's ruling, which upheld the
injunction, Microsoft will be prevented from selling
infringing versions of Word from January 11, 2010.
"We have just learned that the Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit has denied our appeal in the i4i case.
We are moving quickly to comply with the injunction,
which takes effect on January 11, 2010," Microsoft said
in a statement
This injunction applies only to copies of Microsoft
Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the U.S. on
or after the injunction date of January 11, 2010.
Copies of these products sold before this date are not
affected, Microsoft added.
"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 U.S. 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, the Redmond-based
software giant added.
Microst is also considering itslegal 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.
A writ of certiorari means an order by a higher court directing a lower courtor public authority to send the record in a given case for review.