Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Sep 2009 16:44 UTC
Legal Microsoft has been granted a stay of a landmark injunction in a patent infringement case that would have required the software giant to stop selling its popular Word in its current form by next month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday granted Microsoft's motion for a stay, pending appeal, of an injunction issued in August by a federal judge that bars sales of Word that include a custom XML code found to infringe on patents held by i4i - the plaintiff.
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Hardly Unexpected
by Morgul on Fri 4th Sep 2009 18:16 UTC
Morgul
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is hardly unexpected... or unreasonable. I don't remember the figure off the top of my head but I believe that Microsoft would have significant difficulty staying afloat if all their Office revenue dried up over night.

What I'm really curious about is what Microsoft is going to do to make this go away. I expect they will be buying the company as soon as all the legal hurdles are jumped through. What I don't understand is why they're appealing; couldn't they just pay the fine, buy the company, and move on, with a patent that's been held up in court now neatly tucked under their belt?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hardly Unexpected
by byrc on Fri 4th Sep 2009 19:02 UTC in reply to "Hardly Unexpected"
byrc Member since:
2006-02-18

Well you can't just go out and buy a company, especially if it is not publicly traded, as is the case with i4i. Microsoft can make an offer of X amount, but if the owner believes he can get more in court costs/fines/license fees then he would probably not accept the offer. Likewise, it is possible that the owner simply does not want to sell. I would very surprised if the ends with Microsoft owning i4i. Most likely, there will be an out of court settlement where Microsoft gains rights to the patented technology for a single, undisclosed payment. Owner retains his company and gets a surge of capital and Microsoft is allowed to continue to sell Word.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hardly Unexpected
by mrhasbean on Fri 4th Sep 2009 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardly Unexpected"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Most likely, there will be an out of court settlement where Microsoft gains rights to the patented technology for a single, undisclosed payment. Owner retains his company and gets a surge of capital and Microsoft is allowed to continue to sell Word.


Owner then goes on to sue every other company or entity using XML and retire off the proceeds of others hard work.

Ain't it a great society we've created...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Hardly Unexpected
by TechGeek on Fri 4th Sep 2009 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hardly Unexpected"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Get off your soapbox. Microsoft knowingly stole their IP. And its not a patent on XML. Maybe it is obvious, but that is a different matter. Bad Troll! Bad!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hardly Unexpected
by mabhatter on Fri 4th Sep 2009 19:51 UTC in reply to "Hardly Unexpected"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

This is hardly unexpected... or unreasonable. I don't remember the figure off the top of my head but I believe that Microsoft would have significant difficulty staying afloat if all their Office revenue dried up over night.

What I'm really curious about is what Microsoft is going to do to make this go away. I expect they will be buying the company as soon as all the legal hurdles are jumped through. What I don't understand is why they're appealing; couldn't they just pay the fine, buy the company, and move on, with a patent that's been held up in court now neatly tucked under their belt?


It's certainly reasonable to stop sales of an infringing product....happens all the time online via the DMCA.. get ACCUSED of infringement and your ISP lockup your site. Get accused of "ip wrongdoing" in the Apple App store and they shut down your app, refund 100% of the users money and charge YOU the 30% fee. Court judgments destroy companies and their customers all the time unless Microsoft is now "too big to fail"... if that's the case the judge is wrong.

Microsoft has a history of partnering with people, making deals "if something should happen" then sinking the partner so they don't have to share royalty payments. Look at Stacker, Orange, Sun Java, etc, etc. Microsoft was "helping these guys out" then added the exact functionality they knew was patented to Office... It's more than time to shut these Microsoft guys down.

Money is not a valid threat against Microsoft (the $ mean$ money bag$!!!) The P2P kids got sued for more than 20X their "income" over $50 in music files... why isn't Microsoft getting sued for 20x THEIR yearly income... fair is fair under the law, right? That's $200 Billion ... then put Microsoft into bankruptcy directly...that's how P2P infringement is handled!

Microsoft gambled they'd beat the patent rap. Then they gambled they'd only pay fees... for 4 years selling the infringing product (no different than mp3.com, napster or TPB kept on going) It's time the judge stepped up and dealt with IP infringement just as fairly at the TOP of the chain as the bottom. Shut down MS Word until the PLAINTIFF agrees it doesn't infringe! (like Dish VS Tivo) Do this for at least as long as the initial suit took to wind through court!! It will create lots of jobs beefing up alternatives and create real competition again, something nobody else has been able to do yet.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hardly Unexpected
by Moredhas on Sat 5th Sep 2009 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardly Unexpected"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

You're asking for the impossible. Consistency and fairness in a legal system. The only consistency is that the richest always wins, and the fairness is only a concern when the bigger company thinks it's hard done by.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Hardly Unexpected
by darknexus on Sat 5th Sep 2009 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hardly Unexpected"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Couldn't have put it better myself, that's certainly how it works here in the states anyway. It might as well be written in stone: Let it be known that those who have the most money, and therefore the most lawyers, will always win since our laws are so full of holes. The only way to correct this situation would be to make the laws so simple everyone can understand them and thus put an end to this business of lawyers BSing around, and to severely punish anyone found taking bribes or otherwise showing favor to one company over the other based upon monetary results. Not going to happen though, not as long as the rich rule since, you know, they have the power to overrule the majority when it suits them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hardly Unexpected
by JAlexoid on Sat 5th Sep 2009 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hardly Unexpected"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Couldn't have put it better myself, that's certainly how it works here in the states anyway. It might as well be written in stone: Let it be known that those who have the most money, and therefore the most lawyers, will always win since our laws are so full of holes. The only way to correct this situation would be to make the laws so simple everyone can understand them and thus put an end to this business of lawyers BSing around, and to severely punish anyone found taking bribes or otherwise showing favor to one company over the other based upon monetary results. Not going to happen though, not as long as the rich rule since, you know, they have the power to overrule the majority when it suits them.


What you are basically saying, is that you should make the Common Legal system available to the commoner as it was originally designed.
Or look into the Civil legal system.
But American conservatism would not let any option pass.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hardly Unexpected
by Eddyspeeder on Sun 6th Sep 2009 14:07 UTC in reply to "Hardly Unexpected"
Eddyspeeder Member since:
2006-05-10

This is hardly unexpected... or unreasonable. I don't remember the figure off the top of my head but I believe that Microsoft would have significant difficulty staying afloat if all their Office revenue dried up over night.


That were pretty much my thoughts in response to the article on the court ruling. To quote an excerpt from that comment:

It's Office(!); think of the economic damages, not only for Microsoft (which may end up outweighing the settlement), but for any company or individual around the globe using Office.

Reply Score: 1

Documenting this on swpat.org
by ciaran on Sat 5th Sep 2009 14:51 UTC
ciaran
Member since:
2006-11-27

I've been documenting the i4i case here:

* http://en.swpat.org/wiki/I4i_v._Microsoft

The question of whether i4i is a troll or not is interesting alright. Patent lawyers like to talk of "non-practising entities" rather than "trolls", and then with that definition, since i4i has a failed product, they escape the category.

That's the point of view of the mercenary who makes money as longs as there's lots of litigation in the air.

From the victims point of view, I'd say the jury's still out. If i4i goes after another company after MS, then they're a troll alright. (They've already said that OpenOffice.org doesn't infringe, but other word processors mightn't be so lucky.)

Reply Score: 1