Patent Law

Appeals Court: Microsoft Owes $290M, Must Alter Word or Stop Sales By Jan. 11

  • Print.

Upholding a small company’s stunning patent-infringement win against the world’s biggest software seller, a federal appeals court today not only upheld a $290 million verdict in favor of I4i LP but ruled that Microsoft Corp. must either alter its Word software by Jan. 11 or stop selling the popular product, according to Bloomberg.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., bans Microsoft from selling 2003 and 2007 versions of Word within the United States after the deadline and requires the company to remove infringing custom XML technology from a forthcoming Office 2010 suite, explains the Register.

While the court said it is narrowly tailoring its order in the case to avoid undue interference with the way Word is used by existing Microsoft customers, presumably changes made to comply with the ruling will at some point be imposed on all users of the software. Microsoft may continue to support current Word users, but can’t tell educate new customers about the custom XML editor, according to the two publications.

In a written statement, Microsoft says it is working hard to comply with the court’s injunction and may pursue further legal options, such as a request for a rehearing or an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, reports the Microsoft Blog of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Earlier coverage: “Judge’s Order Could Force Microsoft to Stop Selling Some Word Products” “Microsoft Judge Chastises Weil Lawyer for ‘Bailout’ Dig” “Microsoft Gets Expedited Appeal of Judge’s Ban on Some Word Product Sales” “Microsoft Brief Defends Weil’s ‘Bailout’ Dig, Cites ‘Goose-Gander Rule’”

Updated at 1:55 p.m. to include Register coverage and at 2 p.m. to include Microsoft Blog information.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.