MS Word Injunction Reversed: Appeals Judge Grants Stay
It appears Microsoft's threats that last month's injunction against its popular Word software could deliver "irreparable harm" to the company has paid off. A U.S. Court of Appeals judge has granted the Redmond-based firm a stay of the injunction pending appeal, meaning it won't have to pull the software off store shelves by early October.
Last month a Texas federal judge ordered Microsoft to halt resale of Word, a key component of its Microsoft Office suite, unless it removed important XML features whose patent is owned by Canadian company i4i. Microsoft had been ordered to stop selling Word by October 10, with the company, as well as several other major PC makers, claiming it could devastate the industry and hurt an already struggling economy. (Source: informationweek.com)
i4i Confident Stay will Reverse
According to i4i, the small Toronto firm which won the monumental August case, Microsoft's public complaining and bullying led to the stay.
However, i4i remains confident that the appeal process, which is set to begin later this month, will eventually conclude in its favor. "Microsoft's scare tactics about the consequences of the injunction cannot shield it from the imminent review of the case by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal on the September 23 appeal," said Loudon Owen, i4i's outspoken chairman.
"i4i is confident that the final judgment in favor of i4i, which included a finding of willful patent infringement by Microsoft and an injunction against Microsoft Word, was the correct decision and that i4i will prevail on the appeal." (Source: cnet.com)
MS Word: $3 Billion Per Year in Sales
Microsoft, which earns about $3 billion a year in sales from Word, is obviously pleased with the stay. "We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on September 23," announced company spokesman Kevin Kutz.
Despite the rather heated tongue-lashings issued by i4i, the company maintains that it is not trying to sink Microsoft or eliminate Word from the market. It merely wants Microsoft to remove the XML features that infringe on the smaller company's patent, thereby sending a message to the tech industry's corporate giants that such bullying will not be tolerated.