Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Aug 2009 17:55 UTC, submitted by Laurence
Legal In what some will undoubtedly call ironic, Microsoft has been declared guilty of wilfully infringing upon an XML patent held by the Canadian company i4i. The judge has ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of 290 million USD, and has barred Microsoft from selling Word in the United States if the company doesn't comply within 60 days (a detail omitted by many). Microsoft has already announced it will appeal the judge's decision.
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Apocalypse
by systyrant on Wed 12th Aug 2009 18:36 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

If we lived in a world where people payed attention to software this might frighten them into demanding a standardized open format that was not developed by Microsoft, but we don't. We live in a world where the said patent will be invalidated or if not Microsoft will find a work around that doesn't violate the patent. Either way Word and the .docx format will both continue.

What we really have here is apocalyptic story about how a dominate player is being brought down by the cracks in a system it has twisted for years. It's an awesome story for Hollywood, but in the end it's all just a bunch of money for lawyers and press for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apocalypse
by gustl on Sun 16th Aug 2009 18:36 in reply to "Apocalypse "
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Microsoft will do something by far more lucrative for them.

They will just buy a patent license.

That will allow Microsoft to use docx in the future, but will deny open source competitors the capability to read/write it in the USA.
And as i4i is proovably independent of Microsoft, any patent lawsuits of i4i against a competitor will not hurt Microsoft's reputation.

Perfect lock-in, just as Microsoft always wanted.

Settling this, and thereby granting the patent itself an aura of validity is worth billions to Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 2