What the Trial Decision Says

 
 
By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2009-08-14 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Now we know what custom XML refers to. But wait: The patent was about separating formatting from text. How is that related to custom XML? Inside the patent are mentions of SGML (again, the precursor to XML), along with samples of how some XML-like code could be processed, resulting in a separation of formatting from text.

The Memorandum document says: "At trial, i4i contended that Microsoft's use of certain WORD 2003 and all of WORD 2007 products for processing XML documents with custom XML elements infringed claims 14, 18, and 20 of the '449 patent."

Here are those three claims, taken right from the patent itself:

14. A method for producing a first map of metacodes and their addresses of use in association with mapped content and stored in distinct map storage means, the method comprising:

providing the mapped content to mapped content storage means;

providing a menu of metacodes; and

compiling a map of the metacodes in the distinct storage means, by locating, detecting and addressing the metacodes; and

providing the document as the content of the document and the metacode map of the document.

18. A method as claimed in claim 14 further comprising comparing the multiplicity of metacodes in the map with a predetermined set of criteria.

20. A method for producing from a document made up of metacodes and content, a map of metacodes and their addresses of use in association with mapped content of the document and stored in distinct map storage means, the method comprising:

(a) reading the content of the document until a metacode is found;

(b) copying the content and storing the copied content in a mapped content storage;

(c) noting in the map the found metacode and its position in the content;

(d) repeating the processing of (a)-(c) until the entire document has been processed; and then

(e) providing the document as the content of the document separately from the metacode map of the document.

So clearly, the judge and jury have ruled that the use of custom XML (that is, using the XML Structure pane to add additional XML into a document) is violating the invention of mapping metacodes with text, and so on. But why that particular aspect? Why just the use of the XML Structure pane, when the entire documents are stored in XML?

Here's the kicker: Reading through the decision, it's almost as if both the jury and judge felt that the XML editor portion of Word was the only place where XML was being used (it's not) and that this is where the alleged metacode data structure was being created (doubtful; if there is one, it would be created elsewhere).



 
 
 
 
Jeff Cogswell is the author of Designing Highly Useable Software (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0782143016) among other books and is the owner/operator of CogsMedia Training and Consulting.Currently Jeff is a senior editor with Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to joining Ziff, he spent about 15 years as a software engineer, working on Windows and Unix systems, mastering C++, PHP, and ASP.NET development. He has written over a dozen books.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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