Microsoft appeals over XML spat, again

Microsoft has filed a second appeal in its patent case against i4i because it ‘believes the original judgment could set a dangerous precedent for future patent cases’.


The filing with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit calls for the case to be re-heard.

In August last year, a district court in Texas issued a permanent injunction which forbade Microsoft from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007, because it violated an XML patent held by Toronto-based i4i. It would also impact the upcoming Word 2010, currently undergoing development and testing.

The permanent injunction banned Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files containing custom XML.

The software giant appealed, but the court found against Microsoft in late December.

According to Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs for Microsoft, the appeal on the appeal “details significant conflicts we believe the December 22 decision creates with established precedents governing trial procedure and the determination of damages, and we are concerned that the decision weakens judges’ authority to apply appropriate safeguards in future patent trials.”

Microsoft added that it would comply with the injunction and sell Word without an XML editor from today (Monday). The ruling only affects new sales of the package in the US. Existing US installations and those outside the States remain unaffected.

“This next step of seeking a rehearing was anticipated,” said i4i Chairman Loudon Owen. “We continue to be confident that we will prevail. We look forward to continuing to build i4i’s business now that Microsoft is obligated to comply with the terms of the injunction [and] i4i stands ready to work with the wide range of customers that require this custom XML functionality.”

See Also

Microsoft appeals in XML patent row 

MS pulls custom XML code from Word