Microsoft Complying with Word Court Order
Microsoft begins offering customers modified copies of Microsoft Office, as well as issuing patches for Word 2003 and Word 2007, in order to comply with a court order to pull copies of the productivity application that allegedly violate a custom XML patent held by i4i. The case's original verdict ordered Microsoft to pull copies of Word from store shelves and pay the smaller company nearly $300 million in fines. Microsoft has vowed to continue to fight through legal channels, expressing a willingness to head to the Supreme Court if necessary.Apparently in response to a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against it by small IT company i4i, Microsoft pulled copies of Office 2007 from its online store and issued patches for Word 2003 and Word 2007 in its online download center. Time ran out for Microsoft on Jan. 11, the date by which a legal injunction demanded that the company stop selling copies of Word that allegedly violated a custom XML patent held by i4i. Microsoft had previously indicated that it would comply with the injunction by removing copies of Word in favor of ones whose coding sidestepped the patent.
In the meantime, Microsoft has asked that all 11 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit review its long-running case with i4i. The original verdict, delivered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in August 2009, ordered Microsoft to stop selling copies of Word within 60 days-something that the company has successfully managed to prevent until this point-and pay i4i nearly $300 million in accumulated fines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld that verdict on Dec. 22.