Microsoft is gearing up to make new copies of the Office 2007 and Word 2007 available to customers in the United States come next year, after it was denied an appeal in the custom XML patent infringement lawsuit brought against it by Toronto-based i4i. “We have just learned that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied our appeal in the i4i case. We are moving quickly to comply with the injunction, which takes effect on January 11, 2010,” revealed Kevin Kutz, director of Public Affairs, Microsoft, on December 22nd, 2009.
Earlier this year, the Redmond company lost an intellectual property lawsuit filed by i4i related to the integration and use of custom XML technology into Word 2007. On August 11th, the company received an Office Word sales injunction, but appealed the verdict. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found that Microsoft is guilty of infringing on i4i’s IP and awarded the Toronto based company over $330 million in damages
“This injunction applies only to copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 sold in the U.S. on or after the injunction date of January 11, 2010. Copies of these products sold before this date are not affected,” Kutz added.
Microsoft had expected such a verdict, and in this regard, noted that it had already made the necessary preparations to remove what it referred to as a little used feature from Word 2007 and Office 2007. “we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction,” Kutz said.
While it will indeed comply with the court’s decision, Microsoft also indicates that it is exploring additional avenues of legal attack against i4i. “We are also considering our legal options, which could include a request for a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc or a request for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court,” Kutz stated.