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Company also says that the ban will cause it "irreparable" harm

I4i's victory in its patent infringement case against Microsoft was a slap in the face for the Redmond juggernaut.  Not only did a judge order $290M USD in damages be awarded to i4i for Microsoft's violation of its XML patents, but it also ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word, in its current form, until a final verdict is reached.  Word currently uses the Office Open XML (OOXML) format, which infringes on i4i's patent.

As the days roll by and Microsoft's 60-day compliance windows closes, the company is pleading with courts to lift the injunction.  It says that if the injunction is not lifted it will likely be forced to stop selling Microsoft Office for several months. 

Writes Microsoft's defense team, "Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court’s injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months. The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs."

Some are puzzled, though, as to why Microsoft would stop selling Office, rather than simply changes it file format and distinguishing between the current and XML-less editions.  States Barry Negrin, a partner with the New York firm Pryor Cashman LLP who has practiced patent and trademark law for 17 years, "All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature, which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what’s been sold so it’s easy to distinguish the two versions."

In the unlikely event that Microsoft does indeed carry through on its claim to stop selling Office, it could prove a headache for consumers and businesses, who rely on the software's functionality.  However, light-weight alternatives such as Open Office 3 (which nears Office 2007 in functionality) and Google Docs could get a brief boost if Microsoft Office disappeared for several months -- a prospect that has some excited.

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Far reaching
By See Spot Run on 8/20/2009 12:27:30 PM , Rating: 5
This has far reaching consequences in the business world. I do tech support for financial consolidation software and we have some major fortune 500 clients.

Office is used extensively, using Excel for either input of data into accounts (one of the ways), or reporting. Other "Office" products are not supported, open office causes more grief than it costs to buy MS Office and I can tell you straight up Google docs doesn't work.

In many software applications for businesses, there is NO alternative to MS Office.

RE: Far reaching
By rrburton on 8/20/2009 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well then I guess this means that MS is "too big to fail" so the government better step in and make sure that they can keep selling their product

RE: Far reaching
By JKflipflop98 on 8/21/2009 9:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
STFU dude!! If those idiots in Washington hear you, M$ will be getting $115 billion in TARP money a quarter.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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