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Microsoft can't sell word, according to Federal judge

By jck ·
Texas Judge Rules Microsoft Can't Sell Word Anymore

John Biggs
Wednesday, August 12, 2009; 5:18 AM

Go ahead and clean up the coffee you just spit all over your keyboard. We'll wait. Back? OK. A judge in Texas ruled that Microsoft Word's XML systems violate patents by Toronoto-based i4i Inc. Word uses XML in reading and writing XML, DOCX, and DOCM files.The lawsuit alleges that MS violated i4i's 1998 XML patent #5,787,449. The injunction will go into effect in 60 days and prevent Microsoft from selling or demonstrating Microsoft Word. MS will have to pay i4i about $290 million in damages.

What do you think?

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Not a problem

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Microsoft can't sell word ...

MS will negotiate a deal with i4i to license the technology and then write them a check quarterly, assuming it isn't cheaper for MS to just buy i4i outright.

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I would think if the decision stands

by jck In reply to Not a problem

i4i has MS over a barrel.

They already owe them $200M+.

i4i doesn't have to sell or license to MS.

MS would have to halt all sales of Word (or products its distributed with) in which the infringing software occurs.

No 2010
No 2007
No 2002

Are ya ready to go back to Office 95? lol :^0

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Hoist on that there Petard Bill

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Microsoft can't sell word ...

Gurgle, urk...

Oops no I mean this one.

Normally I'd be upset in using a patent to stifle an obvious tech move, but the victim being MS, sort of softens the ****.

Custom XML format. Hello eXtensible Markup Language...

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by jck In reply to Hoist on that there Petar ...

I'm just glad to see MS beat at their own patent-slinging game...finally.

I hope they wring MS out money-wise in whatever business dealings they have.

Way to go to the little guys.

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by DHCDBD In reply to Microsoft can't sell word ...

I am suspicious that the case was filed in the Fifth Circuit. MS lives in Wa. and I4I lives in Canada. The appropriate jurisdictions would have either been the Ninth Circuit, the First Circuit, or the Canadian courts. Why the Fifth? Maybe because more bogus decisions that are favorable to the Plaintiff come from that circuit. In other words, court of judge shopping.

When you did into the details I4I filed for a patent six months before MS and the PTO issued patents to both I4I and MS. This begs the question that if both companies owned patents to the process, then how did MS violate the patent? It also begs the question of how two patents were issued for the same process?

I have no love for MS but I feel that both patents should have been invalidated because of a major snafu by PTO.

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by jck In reply to Suspicious

In the case that a patent or trademark is issued to two parties, the prior holder takes precedence.

In the case of existence and known property references, the longest enduring property takes precedence.

Case in point:


World Wildlife Federation showed implied stake in the term "WWF" before Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation.

Hence, Vince had to change his corporation to WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment.

Besides, MS has been playing this patent game for years. They singly file more patents and have for years than any other company.

Personally, it's my belief that whoever innovates first and files first should get it, unless they can show where their idea was robbed from them by the other party(s).


I don't think MS will look to have the case re-heard in an unfavorable district. They will posture too.

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by DHCDBD In reply to Actually

The patents both should be revoked due to prior art. How long has metadata been in use? Metadata seems to be the issue in this case - storing the text away from the format and description data. This has been in use in DB's for how long?

Sorry about the flaky wording, I have not been awake long enough to think coherently.

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it's okay

by jck In reply to Then

I wish I could sleep here at work.

Almost was, til the boss knocked and wanted a report. :^0

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by DHCDBD In reply to it's okay

Your days probably seldom run until 3, 4, or five in the morning and mine often do. SO I have an excuse. :)

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On the contrary

by jck In reply to But...

I wake every morning by 7am, and I am at work by 8am.

My days often do not end until 2am, and sometimes as late as 4 or 5am.

Yes, I do not sleep much. Been this way since I was young.

I catch up on sleep when I go to Ireland. I sleep about 7-11 hours a day there.

Now you know why I want to move there...besides Guinness. :^0

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