Judge Davis issued a
judgment recently that is set to go into effect in mid-October that
Microsoft from selling and importing Word in the U.S. in its
current form. Davis did give the software giant an out in his
judgment to continue selling Word by saying that only version with
support for XML were subject to the ban.
That would mean if
Microsoft patches its Word software to strip XML formatting or open
documents in plain text it could continue to sell the application in
America. Judge Davis' ruling also hit Microsoft with a fine of $240
million for unlawfully infringing upon patent number 5,748,449 owned
by i4i technologies covering a "Method and System for
Manipulating the Architecture and the Content of a Document
Separately from Each Other."
Microsoft has announced that
disagrees with the Davis ruling and plans to file an appeal in
the case. That comes as no surprise considering Microsoft Office made
about $3 billion for the software giant last year. Rather than issue
a patch or not selling Word in America, if Microsoft loses its appeal
it could simply license the technology from i4i.
suit that i4u brought against Microsoft also sought to bar Windows
Vista and the .NET Framework from the U.S. market, but Judge Davis
found those products didn’t infringe upon the patent in question.
The ruling against Microsoft has raised a number of questions about
patents in the software industry. Some feel software should be
covered by copyright like books while others feel that a patent is
appropriate for software as it is for hardware.
quote: While I don't agree with the case in general, the judge that was chosen does understand programming and architecture.
quote: not listed in any of these articles is the fact that Microsoft tried to infringe on i4is primary business (pharmaceutical) and actively tried to market it toward that field more than any other.
quote: Go look for yourself, http://www.i4i.com/x4o.htm . They have the software and the patent, how on earth do you think their case is not justified?
quote: This whole lawsuit and its outcome is due to Microsoft's own arrogance and stupidity.
quote: If the individuals involved believed that the patent was invalid, they may have assumed that the only way to invalidate the patent was to fight it in court. Legally, they might have been wrong in that thinking, you shouldn't retract the sympathy you had from the beginning.
quote: Davis did give the software giant an out in his judgment to continue selling Word by saying that only version(<--s) with support for XML were subject to the ban.
quote: The original suit that i4u brought
quote: Custom XML markup “is about embedding custom XML defined outside of Open XML to support solution which aim to structure a document using business semantics, not only using formatting. A great advance since you want to get to the data, and not by saying that the customer name is the 3rd paragraph. The issue is that you cannot just allow any arbitrary XML to be stored in the WordprocessingML package. This would become application specific, and it would break validation since all XML is valid. Not a great idea.”
quote: 1. selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States anyInfringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML,.DOCX, or .DOCM file (“an XML file”) containing custom XML ;t