Groklaw, a Web site that makes available a wide range of information related to ongoing legal cases, reported on Wednesday that HP and Dell have asked the court to let them file amicus briefs in support of Microsoft's appeal in the i4i patent litigation.
Microsoft earlier this month was ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to stop selling or importing Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007 or similar future versions that open an XML file that contains custom XML code.
The injunction came in response to Microsoft's losing of a patent infringement case against Toronto-based software developer i4i related to the use of XML in its Word application.
The i4i patent describes a way to manipulate the architecture and content of a document, particularly for data representation and transformations, by removing dependency on document-encoding technology. The patent can be read by clicking here.
The injunction against Microsoft's selling of Word can be read by clicking here.
Groklaw said the injunction, if upheld, would be disruptive to companies such as HP and Dell, which load Word on many of the systems they ship to customers.
In such a case, those vendors would have to choose between shipping no word processor or some competing product such as OpenOffice, Groklaw wrote.
The Groklaw report can be read by clicking here.
The decision by HP and Dell to file amicus briefs comes a day after Microsoft filed a 101-page brief with the Texas court laying out its arguments about why the injunction against Word should be dismissed.
In the Tuesday brief, Microsoft is attempting to show what it believes are numerous errors in the judge's injunction ruling. It also is attempting to get the i4i patent invalidated, trying to show that no infringement of the patent actually occurred and arguing that the fines involved are excessive.
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