A federal appeals court yesterday provided much-needed succor to Microsoft in its high-stakes legal duel with Canadian firm i4i. The
latest judgement temporarily suspends the permanent injunction on the sale of Microsoft Word in its current patent-violating avatar
. Microsoft’s Canadian adversary was granted the injunction last month by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis. The Judge had found Word’s default file format, Office Open XML, to be in violation of i4i’s US patent number 5787449.
"Without prejudicing the ultimate determination of this case by the merits panel, the court determines based upon the motion papers submitted that Microsoft has met its burden to obtain a stay of the injunction," the court said.
After Judge Davis had granted the injunction to i41, Microsoft evinced fear that it could lead to "irreparable harm.” It most dreaded the fact that the injunction could keep the “centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months.” Dell and HP had also backed Microsoft in their respective amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court brief) filings.
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