Microsoft loses Word appeal

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Microsoft loses Word appeal

Redmond has until 11 January to find a way around the injunction.

Microsoft has lost its appeal in the patent infringement case with Canadian firm i4i Technologies which could mean the software giant has to stop selling its popular Microsoft Word word processing software in its current form, according to breaking reports.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upholds the previous decision made by a district court in Texas ruling in favour of i4i, which supplies Word XML authoring software.

The firm insisted that Microsoft infringed its 1998 patent (number 5,787,499) which allows customers to read XML programming language in order to customise document formats.

The original injunction, which was slapped on Microsoft to stop selling Word in its current form, was postponed until the current appeal was heard.

Redmond will now have until 11 January to find a work around for the offending software before it must stop selling the 2003 and 2007 versions of Word, which infringe the patent.

"I4i is especially pleased with the court's decision to uphold the injunction, an important step in protecting the property rights of small inventors," said Michel Vulpe, founder and co-inventor of i4i, in a statement reported by Reuters.

According to the newswire, the most likely outcome could be a settlement between the two firms which allows Microsoft to continue selling the software by paying i4i a sizeable royalty.

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