Sales of Microsoft Word banned, but nothing will change
Back in August we ran the story stating Microsoft had been forced to stop selling one of the most popular software packages in the world - Microsoft Word - after a court ruled it had infringed a patent owned by Canadian company i4i. It looked like one of the stories we make up on a quiet news day (incidentally, our favourite of 2009 was "Thousands scammed by bearded horse") but it was entirely true. And now to compound the improbability, Microsoft has failed in its attempt to dismiss the original ruling.
The failure of their appeal means Microsoft have to pay i4i damages of £182 million and comply with an injunction ending the sales of some versions of Word, due to come into effect on 11 January.
i4i claimed they created the method and architecture for reading XML documents, now commonplace in Microsoft’s 2003 and 2007 versions of Word. However since the decision in August, Microsoft have been removing the incriminating code from both Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, and the company expects to have the new versions available for sale by the injunction date.
In other words, everything will carry on as normal. As if i4i will care - they're about to cash a cheque for £182 million. Oddly, there's no sign of Microsoft strenuously denying the accusations and they've been working since the August ruling to comply with/beat the injunction - which not only means money spent on producing new versions of their product but they have to withdraw all existing stock from the shelves. That's an awful lot of expense for something they could fight in court.