Microsoft Threatens to Stop Selling Microsoft Office over Word Ban


Upholding i4i’s patent infringement claim against Microsoft, a US Federal court judge placed an injunction on Microsoft Word on August 11, 2009. Judge Leonard Davis ordered that Microsoft pay the Canadian company i4i $290 million in damages and stop the sale of Word in the US, within 60 days of the pronouncement of the order, until the dispute is fully resolved. Microsoft Word’s default file format Office Open XML is at the epicenter of Microsoft’s dispute with i4i. The XML-based file format infringes i4i’s US patent number 5787449.

On Tuesday, Microsoft filed an appeal against the injunction. It is seeking a stay on the injunction, which it believes could cause "irreparable harm.” It has warned that the ban could force it to stop the sale of Microsoft Office for many months to come.

“Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court’s injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months. The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs," the company’s filing reads. Although Microsoft can take corrective steps by disabling the XML feature, it will have to cough up a lot of money for that exercise.

Image Credit: Cleveland

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