Microsoft Nailed with $200M MS Word Patent Infringement
Microsoft has been slapped by a heavy hand for including a Canadian company's technology in Microsoft Word. A Texas federal court recently decided that the Redmond-based firm infringed on Toronto-based i4i's XML-based patent.
Canada's i4i raised its concerns in 2007, suing Microsoft for altering the XML (eXtensive Markup Language) in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007. According to i4i, the customization of this process violated its patent. Microsoft denied the charges, insisting that its own patent is valid and has nothing to do with i4i technology. (Source: crn.com)
Microsoft Appeals Ruling
Unfortunately for Microsoft, on Wednesday a Texas judge agreed with i4i's complaint that MS violated the patent through its system for processing Word files via embedded codes that show instructions on how information is presented.
Microsoft's not taking the $200 million ruling lying down. According to Microsoft spokesman David Bowermaster, the company will request that the court overturn the order.
"We believe this award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict," Bowermaster insisted. (Source: cnet.com)
Microsoft Smacked for $388M Last Month
The patent smackdown comes only a month after Microsoft suffered an even worse fate at the hands of a Rhode Island federal court. In April the company was ordered to pay Singapore-based antipiracy software developer Uniloc $388 million. In that case, the court found that Microsoft had violated Uniloc's patent for an antipiracy mechanism by using the technology in its own Windows Product Activation (WPA).
Microsoft is also appealing that decision.