Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 16:46 UK

Judge bans Microsoft Word sales

Word logo
Word 2003 and 2007 are the most common versions on the market

A US federal court has ordered Microsoft to pay over $290m (£175m) for wilfully infringing on a patent by Canadian firm i4i.

The patent relates to the use of XML, a mark-up language that allows formatting of text and makes files readable across different programs.

XML is used in recent versions of Microsoft's word-processor Word.

Texas district court judge Leonard Davis also filed an injunction preventing Microsoft from selling Word.

The row specifically relates to the use of Extensible Mark-up Language, or XML, documents.

I4i filed a patent in 1998 that outlined a means for "manipulating the architecture and the content of a document separately from each other" invoking XML as a means allowing users to format text documents.

XML is also used extensively among other word-processing programs such as OpenOffice.


Earlier this year, the court found in a jury trial that Microsoft had infringed the patent and awarded i4i $200m (£120m).

In the latest ruling, the court ordered Microsoft to pay $40m (£24m) for the wilful nature of the infringement and interest on the amounts totalling more than $40m.

In a separate injunction, the court prohibited Microsoft from "selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States" any version of the software that can open custom XML files (with file extensions .xml, .docx, or .docm).

XML is integral to some of the company's programs, such as Word 2007.

Microsoft has 60 days to comply with the injunction but said in a statement that it will appeal the ruling.

"We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said Microsoft spokesperson Kevin Kutz.

"We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict."

Print Sponsor

Microsoft eyes Office switch test
20 Nov 06 |  Technology
Microsoft adopts web file styles
02 Jun 05 |  Technology
Microsoft $1.5bn damages dropped
07 Aug 07 |  Business
Patent row could hit MP3 industry
23 Feb 07 |  Business
Microsoft wins AT&T patent battle
30 Apr 07 |  Business
US anti-virus firm sues Microsoft
19 May 06 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific