back to article Microsoft can still sell Word

Microsoft has been granted a stay on a court injunction that would have stopped the software giant selling its Word application. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed Redmond the temporary reprieve yesterday, after it ruled MS had done enough to deserve a stay of the injunction. Microsoft applied for a speedy …


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  1. seanj
    Gates Horns

    ... and justice for all..... who can afford it...

    Once again Microsoft prove that money can buy you "justice".

    There can be no doubt that if this story was the other way round, i4i would be slapped with a company-busting injunction and be out of business by now.

  2. Nick Kew Silver badge

    What a shame!

    No, not an anti-MS rant here.

    Just that the shock of this order being allowed to stand could've done wonders for that broken patent system.

    Still, I suppose that's the difference between a US vendor (MS) and a non-US one (RIM) when faced with piracy in the world's biggest market.

  3. aldude
    Thumb Up


    Yes, yes.... let me just adjust your tinfoil hat.

    The fact is, an injunction should only be used in exceptional circumstances where there would otherwise be irreparable damage. That's not the case here, as if i4i win the appeal, the damages would just be a bit greater, hence the injunction is not needed. MS should never have been given the injunction in the first place.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Still the best solution

    is to download openoffice for free. I do not work for Sun, but I use OO :)

  5. Winkypop Silver badge


    They should be stopped from selling it, not because of copyright, but because, as an application, it's a load of old socks!!

  6. The First Dave Silver badge

    Alleged infringement?

    How come the article refers to this as 'alleged' ? The verdict is in, so there is no need to pussy-foot around - no one has been referring to Magrahi as an 'alleged bomber', even though his appeal was clearly only dropped in order to get early release.

  7. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    @seanj: Let's not confuse justice with patent-trolling

    From what's been said about this whole situation so far, it seems remarkably convenient that i4i are pursuing Microsoft in particular and not, you know, everyone else who has an application that produces XML-formatted output. So let's not go jumping too swifly on the MS=bastards train; in this case, MS winning might be the better (or perhaps least bad) outcome, since the alternative is to allow i4i to demand payment from any software production company whose products can produce XML-formatted output. Which, given the whole "XML is a standard" thing, is kind of ridiculous and borderline-retarded. (You'll note I haven't specified which side of the border it's close to, either...)

  8. zenkaon


    This was inevitable, MS were always going to get this.

    I don't think that the injunction should have been issued in the first place (Crazy Texan judge) but at the same time it's a shame as I was looking forward to the chaos it would have caused.

    Troll icon 4 i4i

  9. James Pickett


    "no one has been referring to Megrahi as an 'alleged bomber'"

    Perhaps they should:

    Another example of 'might is right'...

  10. Pirate Dave

    Too bad...

    It might have done M$ some good if they'd have had to THINK their way out of this mess, instead of paying the lawyers to do their thinking for them.

  11. John G Imrie Silver badge

    @Captain Underpants

    it seems remarkably convenient that i4i are pursuing Microsoft in particular and not, you know, everyone else who has an application that produces XML-formatted output.

    That would be because MS looked at i4i's technology, went into talks to license it and when that failed, illegally copied it.

    Oh and because its a specific instance of encoding data in XML.

  12. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo


    Maybe MS will do with Office what they tried with Win7 for the EU, just remove support for XLM from versions of Office sold in the US. Of course resellers could make a killing selling imported versions from Canukistan and we'd finally have correct spellings of armour and colour again :)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    MS Bashers

    OK, for those MS bashers who didn't actually read this properly.

    MS had 60 days to stop selling it (which, as the article says, would have been mid October).

    Appeals normally take many months, however, in this case, the appeals court have set the date BEFORE the expiry of the 60 days.

    MS could still lose the appeal and will still need to stop selling it in October.

    I'm just surprised MS haven't bought i4i yet !

  14. Snert Lee


    So if Microsoft programs around the i4i patent, would that leave them unable to use the OOXML "standard"?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Sorry but...

    I'd just love to microsoft take a real kick in the balls that costs them more than pocket money.

    Why? Because I would.

    So there!

  16. James O'Brien

    @Alleged infringement?

    Its "Alleged" because the patent that i4i (henceforth to be referred to as Patent Troll) have for XLM (which keep in mind IS A STANDARD) is so broad that theres a good chance I (or any one of us) could be sued by Patent Troll just for leaving comments here as I'm sure somewhere there is a version of these comments in XML. Not to mention again ITS A STANDARD.

    Patent Troll should never have gotten a patent for this in the first place. Love how broken the system is. I henceforth patent the patent of patenting stupid patents that should never have been patented in the first place.


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    crime pays

    While I am sure this would have been detrimental to Microsoft's (and thus their partners') business, their repeated and wishful offenses in this case should have warranted such an injunction.

    I seriously question the argument that Microsoft has done enough to deserve a stay of the injunction. For all I know, they have shown no intention of ever respecting i4i's intellectual property rights, and the US Court of Appeals just allowed them to continue and use i4i's intellectual property without license for as long as the appeal(s) will last.

    In light of the previous judge's statement that a stay of the injunction would amount to i4i being forced to license their intellectual property to Microsoft, this last decision once more illustrate that crime pays and some companies are just too big to fail.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Patent Troll?


    Troll is an abreviated anacronism for trolling - as in slowly going backwards and forwards over an area of water in a little boat, with the fishing lines out, hoping to get a bite - from the fish......

    Hence boat motors come with "troll" or "trolling" speed or gear; which is a bit above idle - and kind of like a walking speed.....

    So the use of "Troll" in the sense of spreading enlightenment through what dimwits regards inflammatory remarks; and for them to denounce the sayer of the remarks, as "Trolls" means they are shit-stirrers "Trolling" the forums, looking for a bite or reaction...

    They are not the fairy story type of "Trolls that live under bridges".

    Thus patent trolls in a generalised sense, are people who cruise around looking for ways to extort or extract suitable renumeration for the theft of other peoples works....

  19. Aidan Thornton

    Doesn't affect other formats, won't affect other formats, can't affect ODF ever.

    Captain Underpants: There are two reasons they sued Microsoft and not anyone else. The first - which someone already mentioned - is that it was Microsoft that partnered with them, stole their idea, and stuck it into Microsoft Office, destroying their business. The second is that their patent doesn't cover what anyone else is doing.

    James O'Brien: repeat after me: This is not a patent on XML. This patent does not even mention XML. All the XML-based document formats are entirely unaffected by this patent (even the core bits of OOXML).

    Now, Microsoft's recent XML patent is another matter. While that did end up being crippled to the point that it only covers OOXML, they originally wanted something much broader that would've affected lots of people.

  20. Josh Fisher

    Re: Crime Pays

    Firstly, there is no crime. This is a civil case. And it is most ridiculous that i4i, or anyone, is awarded a patent for encoding data in XML. In a way, MS brought this upon themselves, ironically, as they were one of the parties responsible for pushing the concept of software patents in the first place, though they certainly were not alone in that. Hopefully, MS will win this appeal and the court will establish that encoding data in XML is not patentable. Perhaps, then, in future the US PTO will not award a patent for the programmatic encoding of text in UTF8. Have the patent offices of the world gone mad, or is stupidity a job requirement?

  21. Number6

    @Nick Kew

    I Agree, it's a shame this wasn't allowed to continue, simply because it shows up a lot about what's wrong with the US patent system and the legal processes that surround it. Hopefully MS will lose the appeal and have to go all the way to the highest level, providing maximum exposure for the state of the system.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    I don't see the point of fining Microsoft with the amounts they usually do. That's NOTHING for them. Banning them from selling Word, which I would very much like to see, since it's EXTREMELY bloated and a wholy retarded app, would do them something.

    It's so sad that you can "'pay' for '''justice'''".

  23. Ian 11

    @ The First Dave

    The verdict is in? According to who exactly?

    Sorry, but your suggestion that they don't need to use the word "alleged" is false, you incorrectly assume that the word of a Texas court is wholly accurate, just as you suggest the word of a court in the Netherlands presided over by Scottish judges is wholly and absolutely accurate.

    Just because a court rules something does not mean that it's true or correct. Courts are not infallible entities, on the contrary, as has been seen on many occasions, they're very fallible.

    Even then of course you assume that everyone has the same standards, certainly I put about as much trust in a Texas judge as I would George Bush telling me he went to Iraq to liberate the people. In the EU, Microsoft would certainly not have been guilty because patents of the type pushed by i4i are unenforcable.

    Going to a district court known for being friendly to patent trolls to get a ruling and using that ruling to suggest truth is as dishonest as saying tommorrow is due to be hotter than today, so global warming is worsening at an even more rapid rate than even the most pessimistic studies.

    Are you one of those people who believes in god because the pope, living his life of luxury at your expense told you he was real too?

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