Microsoft can keep selling Word, judge rules

A federal appeals court held that Microsoft can continue to sell Word during its appeal of a patent-infringement ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has held that Microsoft can keep selling its Word software by granting a stay in a civil lawsuit, according to several news reports.

Microsoft filed an emergency motion to stay a ruling that ordered the company to stop selling Word in the United States. Microsoft’s motion said taking Word off store shelves and away from partners and customers would cause irreparable harm. The appeals court's ruling will allow Word sales to continue while the patent-infringement lawsuit is appealed, NewsFactor reported.

A Canadian company, i4i, won the original judgment. Microsoft allegedly violated patents that i4i holds on advanced XML features in recent versions of the popular word-processing software.

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Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 maddawg wash. DC

you idiot lemmings bashing microsoft because some lame company we've never heard of say's they patented the way the xml is packaged?? i WILL NEVER do business or buy products from this lame company i4i....how much do they have to STEAL from microsoft to make themselves feel good?? who knows....they'll be out of business in a matter a year or two most likely.

Tue, Sep 8, 2009

You realize that the patent in question talks about owning the process of "packing and unpacking data" which once you think about it can boil down to almost every program ever made. This is more so that the patent office allows stupid patents in software because they obviously don't understand it.

Tue, Sep 8, 2009 JAS

Since when can you patent something that is as general as what I saw in those patent documents? It would be like my trying to copyright KISS as an acronym meaning Keep It Simple Stupid, which predates my 60 years. And on top of that, i4i had a chance to review the original Word 2003 code and didn't apparently raise a squawk. That "patent" was so vague, I could store software in a closet and "customize" it's location and box and be in violation of the patent.

Tue, Sep 8, 2009 Wayneho50 CLS

The Patent Process is a joke. Most of these patents are extensions to what we have been doing since the mid 70's. It's a new form and they get a patent and start suing. They did not pioneer and/or invent anything.I would bet my software since 1981 could invalidate 99% of all so called patents in a prior use clause.

Tue, Sep 8, 2009 Attila T. Hun

Drivel and more drivel. The Patent and Trade Office is a host of brigands and bozos. It seems that ever since the congress was purchased by the RIAA and it mob, anything can be patented. The alleged i4i intellectual material is nothing but prior (unpatentable) art. I am surprised that Balmer has not gotten a patent on selling crap to the public in the form of an operating system, e.g. Vi$ta

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