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eXtensible Markup Language ('XML') is a standard for describing content data in a manner that facilitates the sharing of such content across different systems and applications1. Over the last 10 years, the XML standard has been adopted across a wide range of environments in the IT industry. Microsoft is one of many companies that is re-aligning its existing product range to take advantage of the flexibility of XML. One of its current initiatives is the standardization of the Office Open XML File Formats ('File Formats'). This paper reviews the standardisation process that Microsoft has embarked upon and examines Microsoft's legal arrangements related to intellectual property associated with the File Formats and the manner in which that legal treatment interacts.
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