Microsoft Ordered to Stop Selling Word

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has been ordered to pay over $290 million for willfully infringing on a patent by Canadian firm I4i.  The Redmond-based firm has also been told by a Texas judge to stop selling its Word program.

The patent in question relates to the use of the XML programming language that makes files readable across different programs and allows the formatting of text. XML is an integral part of Microsoft's Word. (Source:

XML Patent Filed by I4i in 1998

The $290 million fine and sales ban of Word are the result of Microsoft's use of Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) documents. Other word-processing programs such as OpenOffice also use XML.

In 1998 Canadian firm I4i filed a patent outlining a means for 'manipulating the architecture and the content of a document separately from each other invoking XML as a means for allowing users to format text documents.

Microsoft Plans to Appeal the Verdict

A separate injunction prohibits Microsoft from selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any version of its Word software capable of opening custom XML files (.xml, .docx or .docm). (Source:

Microsoft has 60 days to comply with the injunction but plans to appeal the verdict.

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