A new Word for Microsoft

Published: Friday 15 January 2010

Software giant Microsoft is preparing to alter its Word software after it lost an appeal on a patent infringement case to Canadian software company I4i. The US court of appeals upheld the ruling of a lower court that had directed Microsoft to pay damage worth US $290 million to I4i for patent infringement and asked it to make the changes by January 11 or stop sales. Word is part of Microsoft’s Office software used by over 500 million people worldwide.

The dispute is over a feature, custom xml (Extensible Mark-up Language), in Microsoft Word. I4i claimed it has patent for this feature. Reacting to the verdict, Microsoft said the injunction applies to the copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the US; they will be sold with the feature removed by January 11. New softwares like Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 don’t contain the technology covered by the injunction.

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