August 12, 2009

Microsoft Paying $290 Million For Using XML Patent

Microsoft Corp has been ordered by a U.S. federal court to pay over $290 million in damages to Canadian software firm i4i Ltd for infringing a patent.

The Toronto-based firm claimed in a 2007 suit that Microsoft knowingly infringed one of its patents in its Word processing application and its Vista operating system.

Microsoft was accused by i4i of infringing on a 1998 XML patent in its Word 2003 and Word 2007 programs.

The final judgment from the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas followed a jury verdict that was in favor of i4i on May 20.

U.S. District Court judge Leonard Davis also permanently shut out Microsoft from selling any products that can open a .XML, .DOCX or .DOCM file containing  the custom XML patented technology.

On Wednesday, Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said the software giant is planning to appeal.

"We are disappointed by the court's ruling," Kutz said in a statement. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid.

"We will appeal the verdict."


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