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Microsoft Issues Word XML Patch After i4i Court Victory

Microsoft Corp. was quick to respond to a court ruling that staves it off from selling some specific versions of its signature Word program, over the allegations that it had violated patents held by a Canadian software firm.

The software giant has already issued a patch, codenamed as ‘the Office OPK Master Kit Download’, which eliminates the contentious XML editing feature from its Word program, after a Texas Court gave decision in favour of Toronto-based i4i Inc in a patent-related case.

The patch will be delivered to large PC manufacturers that install MS Office on new computers before they are dispatched to retailers and customers.

The court ordered the software maker to pay $290 million in damages to i4i, and directed Microsoft that it couldn’t sell copies of Word 2007 unless the required changes are made to the program.

The US District Court for Eastern Texas has actually upheld a ruling from a smaller court in the patent case filed in 2007.

I4i Inc filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in 2007, alleging that XML Editor incorporated in the Word software is actually infringing the patent.

The court issued an injunction against the sales of Microsoft Word 2007 in August, and eventually gave verdict in favour of i4i.

Our Comments

i4i’s founder Michel Vulpe said "We are vindicated and we're appreciative but we're not surprised because we believed from the outset that we had a great case and that the trial judge made the right decision". Well, if Microsoft had been in i4i's shoes, they would have made sure that the full force of the law is applied to the culprit.

Related Links

Microsoft Reacts to Ruling, Pulls Custom XML From Word (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

MS pulls custom XML code from Word (opens in new tab)

(TG Daily)

US Court Bans Microsoft From Selling Word (opens in new tab)

(Sky News)

Microsoft ordered to stop selling Word 2007 in US (opens in new tab)

(Telegraph)

Microsoft loses Word patent appeal, will change code (opens in new tab)

(CNet)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.