Microsoft Faces Permanent Injunction Against Selling Word

August 12, 2009 – In The News

In the patent infringement lawsuit that i4i brought against Microsoft in the Eastern District of Texas, a court considered friendly to plaintiffs in patent cases, Judge Leonard Davis issued a permanent injunction barring Microsoft from selling Word. Starting in 60 days, Microsoft is not permitted to sell any version of Word that can open or write XML files because Word supposedly infringes on i4i’s patent number 5,787,449, which covers a way to manipulate the architecture and content of a document separately from each other.

Ironically, this might actually help create the image of Microsoft as technology victim. “People are in an uproar anyway in the software industry when they see these types of cases, because software technology moves so rapidly,” said Gerard Norton. The next step depends on Microsoft’s strategy. While some patent attorneys think Microsoft may appeal, Norton thinks that given the circumstances and that permanent injunction looming, they’ll settle instead to get the issue off their back.