IP News

US Appellate Court Overturns Injunction Against Microsoft’s Sale of Word

September 08, 2009

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted Microsoft Corporation’s motion to stay the injunction issued by the Federal District Court preventing the software leader from distributing its popular software Word.

Earlier in the year, the Federal Judge found that Microsoft infringed on a 1998 patent issued to Canadian firm, I4i, over Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), which is being used in all current versions of Microsoft’s Word software.

XML is a document system that eliminates the need for manually embedded formatting codes. It lets various software programs read document files created by different software programs and allows for the formatting of text. I4i was issued Patent No. 5,787,449 over XML in 1998.

The Appellate Court granted Microsoft’s motion for stay pending its appeal of the District Court decision where it was ordered by a jury to pay US$200m to I4i for what was found to be a violation of I4i’s XML patent. Microsoft and I4i are set to appear for oral arguments before the Appellate Court on September 23.

Regardless of the result of Microsoft’s appeal, the software giant has the option to create a technical workaround to remove the XML function from its software.

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