injunction stemmed from a case against Microsoft over its use of XML
in its Office
Open XML document standard. The use reportedly violated a
patent by Toronto-based i4i, granted in 1998. I4I pursued the
case in Texas federal court, a state known for its aggressive
protection of patents. Indeed, a Texas judge had found that
Microsoft had infringed upon the patent and order it to pay
$200M USD, prior to the new injunction.
Now i4i's Chairman
Loudon Owen is speaking
up and says he isn't looking to kill Word with the injunction or
start a legal war with Microsoft. He says the injunction is all
about his company getting its fair share of the profits on a
technology it developed. He states, "We're not seeking to
stop Microsoft's business and we're not seeking to interfere with all
the users of Word out there. The injunction is not saying there
is no more Word for the world. That is not our intention and
that would not be a sensible remedy."
Mr. Owen says that
the $200M USD settlement is a big deal for the small company.
He states, "It's obviously a material verdict by US patent
verdict (standards), but we think it is fair."
that his company's focus is not on the lawsuit, but rather on
products. He says that his company's mission is to bring
structure and standardization to global data storage. He
estimates that currently only 10 percent of the world's digital data
is structured, something he sees as a big problem.
company has only 30 employees, but has been around since 1993.
They have worked with major pharmaceutical companies -- Amgen, Bayer
and Biogen -- on software products over the years. Ironically,
the company's biggest contract to date had been overhauling the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office's own website for patent
Asked whether his company could partner with
Microsoft for the right price, Mr. Owen showed a bit of humor,
quipping, "Microsoft is too big for us to buy at this point...
We are always ready willing and able to partner with any good
partner, whoever that is."
Mr. Owen, who co-founded the
Mclean Watson venture capital firm, has already brokered one major
sale to Microsoft -- a 1994 purchase of 3D animation firm Softimage.