Federal Court Orders Microsoft to Stop Selling Word Software

Upholding $290-million judgement against Microsoft for violation on a patent in its flagship product Word, a US federal appeals court has instructed the company to stop selling Word programmes.

The US court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word programmes, which contained the infringing code, from January 11, 2010.

The court gave the ruling in an appeal by Microsoft against a Texas jury verdict last August which found that Microsoft had infringed on patents owned by Canadian software company i4i Inc.

“A small company was practicing its patent, only to suffer a loss of market share, brand recognition, and customer goodwill as the result of the defendant’s infringing acts,” the three-judge panel said in court documents.

“The district court found that Microsoft captured 80 percent of the custom XML market with its infringing Word products, forcing i4i to change its business strategy.”

Though Microsoft did not issue a reaction to Tuesday’s ruling, experts said that the company is expected to arrive at a settlement with i4i which would see it pay an ongoing licensing fee to i4i.

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