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Word Saved from Ban

Microsoft maintains that the i4i patent is bunk and that there’s prior art

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rescued Microsoft Word from being clamped in injunctive leg irons, barred from sale on the US market.

On Thursday the court gave Microsoft the stay it was looking for while it appeals the decision of a Texas district court that it infringed on an obscure custom XML patent held by a little Canadian company called i4i.

Nobody ever heard of i4i until a few weeks ago when Microsoft was told to pay it $290 million in damages for treading on its IP and to take Word and the Word-bearing Office suite off the American market until Word stops offending.

The injunction was supposed to go into effect next month.

Microsoft maintains that the patent is bunk and that there’s prior art. It also claims that it would take months to fix the problem.

The appeals court will now hear Microsoft’s expedited appeal on September 23. It’s unclear how long a decision will take. Meanwhile, the Patent and Trademark Office is reportedly re-examining the i4i patent.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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