A US judge has ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word application in the USA in 60 days after finding that the software contains technology that violates a patent held by a third party.
I4i, a Toronto-based software maker, has been battling Microsoft over an obscure patent related to XML or Extensible Markup Language.
Upholding a May 20 jury decision Tuesday, a federal district court judge in Texas, banned Microsoft from selling Word 2003, WWord 2007 and future versions of the software that use i4i’s technology without a licence. The judge also ordered Microsoft to pay several hefty fines to i4i, including $200 million in damages and $40 million in “enhanced damages”.
The suit involves a patent i4i’s founders obtained in 1998 that is the basis for a “customised XML” tool the company supplies to drug and defence companies and other large corporations, said Owen.
The Judge found that Microsoft was aware of i4i’s patent and that there was enough evidence of Microsoft “wilfully infringing” on the patent to issue the injunction, pending continuation of the case. [source]
Microsoft plans to appeal the ruling. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company planned to appeal.
“We are disappointed by the court’s ruling. We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict.” the spokesperson said.