David vs. Goliath Battle Ends With Microsoft Losing Right to Sell Word

August 13, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A tiny Canadian tech company has succeeded where many have failed, slaying the dragon that is Microsoft, by scoring a court victory banning Microsoft from selling Word in the U.S. The loss of Word, the popular word processor program, that is a staple in offices worldwide, would cost Microsoft billions of dollars a year.

The David in this Goliath battle is Toronto based i4i Inc., a company that provides “collaborative content solutions.” Judge Leonard Davis, of U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, ruled on Tuesday that Microsoft’s Word unlawfully infringed on a patent held by i4i Inc., granting the Canadian company a permanent injunction against Microsoft, barring the company from selling Word in the U.S. and awarding the company more than $230 million in damages and costs.

The battle stems from U.S. patent 5,787,44 held by i4i Inc., which describes a “Method and System for Manipulating the Architecture and the Content of a Document Separately from Each Other.” The complaint by i4i Inc. was filed on March 6, 2007, alleging that Microsoft’s Word 2003 and Word 2007, NET Framework, and Windows Vista, infringed on its patent.

The court found that Word ran afoul of the Canadian company’s patent, with its ability to open documents containing custom XML. Microsoft now has 60 days to either remove Word from store shelves or create a software patch removing the XML feature.

Removing the ability to read documents with XML, means that Word would lose .DOCX, .DOCM, and .XML files, which would be a welcome bonus to open source office software, but not so great for Microsoft.

Microsoft plans to appeal the court’s ruling.



2 Responses to “David vs. Goliath Battle Ends With Microsoft Losing Right to Sell Word”

  1. Social Bookmarking on August 14th, 2009 7:52 am

    It seems everyone gets so upset about Microsoft and their products.

    I use Ubuntu – Open Source – and enjoy the same type of Microsoft products without the cost.

  2. Ban On Microsoft Word Put On Hold After Appeal Granted | ChattahBox News Blog on September 4th, 2009 2:31 pm

    […] (ChattahBox) – You may recall a recent story about a small Canadian company taking Microsoft down a notch by taking them to court over Word. […]

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