Archive for August, 2009
Microsoft was sued by i4i on March 2007 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas — a court considered a haven for small businesses that sue technology companies for patent infringement. Microsoft had apparently violated a patent regarding custom XML, which separates markup tags from content. The two Office suits that contain the custom XML is Office 2003 and Office 2007. On August 12, Judge Leonard Davis ruled that Microsoft pay an excess of $290 million and issued a permanent injunction for the “449 patent”. Judge Davis also ruled that Microsoft pull Office 2003 and Office 2007 from store shelves.
As expected, Microsoft is appealing the ruling. The software giant filed a motion with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday for an expedited review of its appeal and to stay the permanent injunction while the appeal is pending, according to Kevin Kutz, a Microsoft spokesperson.
“These filings are not unusual in patent cases,” Kutz said. “As we’ve maintained throughout this process, we believe the evidence clearly demonstrates that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We look forward to filing our appeal and to Court of Appeals review.”
“The appeal was fully expected, given the signifcance of the case and the flagship status of Microsoft Word to the defendant,” said Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i. “I4i will continue to vigourously enforce its patent. We firmly believe the jury verdict and judgment were both fair and correct and we have been vindicated through the process.”
There are only two options:
1. Microsoft and i4i settle the issue out of court.
2. Microsoft and i4i continue to fight for years to come.
Customers will have no choice but to sit back and wait.