Microsoft Word banned from the US?

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Chalk this up there on the board of weirdness for Wednesday morning. Apparently a judge in Texas has ruled that Microsoft violates several XML and custom XML opening patents held by Toronto-based i4i Inc. So what exactly does it mean? Well, technically Microsoft is now banned from selling Word in the United States. Though don’t expect that to last as Microsoft has already stated they plan on appealing the ruling which will of course give Redmond plenty of time to keep selling what they have been for years. Now the really interesting part will be if the appeals judge upholds the previous court’s ruling. If you want to get all legal on the issue, the actual injunction from the judge is as follows:

Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined from performing the following actions with Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 (collectively “Infringing and Future Word Products”) during the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449:

1. selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any
Infringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML,
.DOCX, or .DOCM file (“an XML file”) containing custom XML;

2. using any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file
containing custom XML;

3. instructing or encouraging anyone to use any Infringing and Future Word
Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;

4. providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;

and

5. testing, demonstrating, or marketing the ability of the Infringing and Future
Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML.

This injunction does not apply to any of the above actions wherein the Infringing and Future Word Products open an XML file as plain text.

Slightly comical?

Source: Mashable

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1 Comment

  1. Skrymsli says:

    This is awesome because it shows just exactly how stupid both software patents and judges are. Uh, every software product in the world uses XML this way. Every software product in the world opens custom XML files (not as plain text)… WTF!?!?!

    i4i, all our base are belong to you. Now if only I knew who you were…

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Author: Mike

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