Microsoft Keeps Its Word, For Now9:41 AM EST Fri. Sep. 04, 2009
Microsoft has convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals to allow it continue selling Word, and Thursday won a stay against an injunction that prevented it from selling the software until it could appeal the decision.
Microsoft was ordered to halt sales of Word last month after a small Canadian firm, i4i, won a May verdict of $200 million after jurors found that Microsoft "willfully infringed an i4i patent covering a document system that relies on the XML custom formatting function."
In response, on Aug. 12, Microsoft filed a stay seeking to block the injunction.
Initially, the court gave Microsoft an Oct. 10 deadline to come up with a revamped version of Word that would not infringe on i4i's patent. With the stay, Microsoft now has a Sept. 23 court date to appeal the decision.
"We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on Sept. 23," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement.
Hewlett-Packard and Dell came to Microsoft's defense and on Aug. 26 asked the court for permission to file amicus briefs in support of Microsoft's appeal in the i4i patent litigation.
Executives at i4i are still confident they will prevail.
"Microsoft's scare tactics about the consequences of the injunction cannot shield it from the imminent review of the case by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal on the Sept. 23 appeal," i4i Chairman Loudon Owen said in a statement. "I4i is confident that the final judgment in favor of i4i, which included a finding of willful patent infringement by Microsoft and an injunction against Microsoft Word, was the correct decision and that i4i will prevail on the appeal."