Microsoft: Word Ban Would Cause 'Irreparable Harm'

Last week, a U.S. District Court in Texas issued a permanent injunction that prohibits Microsoft from selling Word versions that can open .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files containing custom XML, and gave the company until Oct. 10 to comply.

In the Tuesday motion, Microsoft highlights the potential disruption an injunction would have on Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other business partners that distribute Word, and also lays out a dire scenario for how it would impact its own business.

"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," Microsoft said in the court filing.

In May, a federal court in Texas slapped Microsoft with a $240 million ruling for violating the patent of Toronto-based i4i, a developer of XML-based collaborative content solutions. About $40 million of that figure was tied to Microsoft's willful infringement of the patent.

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i4i's case centered on Microsoft's customization of the XML in Word 2003 and Word 2007. The i4i patent describes a way to manipulate the architecture and content of a document, particularly for data representation and transformation, by removing dependency on document-encoding technology.