Microsoft attempts to block Word ban

Microsoft has filed an emergency motion to block an order that would ban sales of Microsoft Word in the US within 60 days and force it to pay fines of almost $300m.

Microsofthas filed an emergency motion to block an order that would ban sales ofMicrosoft Word in the US within 60 days and force it to pay fines of almost$300m.

Detailsof the motion are sparse because it was filed under seal in the US DistrictCourt for Eastern Texas but the expectation is that Microsoft intends to fightto overturn the initial ruling by Judge Leonard Davis on 11 August.

Themotion was filed on 14 August, three days after the ruling that Microsoft hadwilfully infringed a patent held by Toronto-based i4i.

Detailsfrom Judge Davis’ ruling show an additional $40m fine was levied becauseMicrosoft’s counsel made improper arguments in spite of the court’s warnings by“arguing that it was somehow improper for a non-practicing patent owner to suefor money damages. He further persisted in improperly trying to equate i4i’sinfringement case with the current national banking crisis implying that i4iwas a banker seeking a “bailout.”

Microsoftclaimed i4i had failed to produce legally sufficient evidence that the softwaregiant knew Word was infringing its patent, but i4i presented evidence thatMicrosoft was provided “with an explanation of i4i’s patented technology alongwith the patent number starting in April 2001 and continuing through 2003”.

Inaddition, i4i presented an internal Microsoft email sent in January 2003“containing i4i’s product name, the patent number, and a statement from aMicrosoft employee that i4i’s technology would be made ‘obsolete’ by its Wordproduct”.

Founded in 1993,Toronto-based i4i describes itself as “at the fore-front of applying XML to theproblem of collaborative content” and claims to have assisted “some of the mostsuccessful organisations, across a wide range of industries, with their XMLcontent development and management”.

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