Microsoft Word Can be Banned Within Weeks for Microsoft Patent Crime (Willful Infringement and Trial Misconduct)
Summary: The i4i lawsuit, which presents strong evidence of Microsoft’s most shameless patent infringement, has an injunction set to January 11th
Microsoft deliberately broke patent law*, as i4i has shown using words that came right from Microsoft’s own mouth [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Throughout the trial, Microsoft was also fined $40,000,000 for “trial misconduct” (another such incident ocurred and got reported earlier this month). There are over 50 patent cases against Microsoft, but it is difficult to show that Microsoft did this knowingly and deliberately. i4i managed to show just that, so punishment is imminent:
A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a $290 million patent infringement judgment against Microsoft Corp. and reinstated an injunction that bars the company from selling current versions of its flagship Word software.
The i4i district court decision created some turmoil this past summer when the Eastern District of Texas court ordered Microsoft to stop selling versions of its flagship MS Word product that infringe i4i’s patent covering xml editing technology. The injunction was stayed pending appeal, but now the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has affirmed the lower court’s findings of validity and willful infringement and its award of enhanced damages and permanent injunctive relief. The only modification made by the court was to push-back the effective date of the injunction from sixty-days to five months (from the original order). Thus, “[t]he injunction’s effective date is now January 11, 2010.”
Microsoft has lost an appeal in a patent case that will force it to alter Microsoft Word to avoid an injunction on sales of the product.
Microsoft lost a patent case involving a company called I4i in May, after a jury ruled that Microsoft infringed one of i4i’s patents with a custom XML feature found in Word. In August an injunction was placed on sales of Word pending the appeal, which did not go in Microsoft’s favor Tuesday.
Here is the unofficial Microsoft response and some more official word. [pun] █
* Internally, it was revealed that Microsoft advises staff not to ever look at patents, for fear that patent violations would become willful.