Good morning, Netizens…
A judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word products in their current form in the United States. However, before you panic, remember legal appeals or technical work-arounds make an actual halt of sales unlikely.
If you understand the “nuts and bolts” of Microsoft Word, this injunction stops Microsoft from selling Word products that let people create custom XML documents, since the patent for those functions are held by i4i (http://www.i4i.com/).
The ruling, which includes damages Microsoft must pay, are related to a patent infringement suit filed by i4i.
According to the Associated Press, Microsoft did not reply to questions about the affect the injunction will have on it and its ability to sell Word in the U.S. In a statement it said it planned to appeal the verdict.
An appeal could stay the injunction but even if the injunction stands, Microsoft could potentially strip the functionality from Word or possibly build a work-around.
In a March 2007 suit, i4i charged Microsoft with willfully infringing its patent. Earlier this year, a jury in the Texas court ordered Microsoft to pay i4i US$200 million for infringing the patent.
The judge also ruled that Microsoft should pay an additional $40 million for willful infringement of the patents and over $37 million in prejudgment interest. That brings total damages to more than $290 million.