Microsoft Loses Key Patent Judgment 23/12/2009 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Computer technology giant Microsoft has lost an appeal on a patent case that now could see the company withdrawing the current versions of two of its widely-used software programmes from the market. The dispute concerns a computer language for document programmes, called XML, that allows for the editing of certain structural information in a document. Canadian software company i4i owns a patent on this language. In August 2009, the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled against Microsoft in favour of i4i, saying Microsoft had wilfully infringed i4i’s valid patent, according to i4i’s statement [pdf] on the decision. Microsoft appealed, but yesterday found that it had lost the appeal. The injunction, made in a decision handed down on 22 December from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States, affects the 2007 versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office (the latest available versions for Windows computers). These programmes can no longer be legally sold in the US in their current form after the injunction date of 11 January 2010. Microsoft will also owe i4i over US$290 million in damages. “We have been preparing for this possibility since the district court issued its injunction in August 2009,” said a Microsoft press release in response to the ruling, adding that it expects to have versions of the software with the infringing feature removed by 11 January. It adds that beta versions of MS Word and Office 2010 do not contain the technology. Andrew Updegrove, an attorney who specialises in and blogs on standards and open source software, has written a detailed analysis of the significance of the decision, including what is likely to happen in the future. It can be read here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Microsoft Loses Key Patent Judgment" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.