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Microsoft permanently barred from selling Word

By Matthew ยท 49 replies
Aug 12, 2009
  1. Microsoft has been ordered by a US District Court to halt sales of its popular word processing application, Word. Judge Leonard Davis has ruled that the software-giant is guilty of patent infringement and has prohibited it from selling, importing, testing, demonstrating or marketing any Microsoft Word products able to open XML, DOCX, or DOCM files (XML) files containing custom XML.

    Read the whole story
  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,098   +866

    lol! thats well bad! does that mean I can't buy word from the microsoft website? and i'm living in england?
  3. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Looks like people will be turning to OpenOffice now...
  4. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    Anybody know more background? Hard to interpret this.

    For example, is this yet another case of a patent troll hitting the lottery under the revised patent law that MS lobbied for, back whenever it was? If so, maybe MS will now buy enough members of congress and the senate to finally make some badly needed revisions. On the other hand, if this was a genuine case of MS stealing technology from a little guy who looked helpless (what!? Microsoft steal technology!?) then they deserve it, and have probably made far more from the stolen tech than they are paying out.
  5. I love it when Micro$oft gets shafted!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    Does this mean the price of Windows 7 will go up to cover the cost of the fines?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    Great information -- I do wish however, we would see credible sources cited for the origins of such 'news'. Without citations, this is easily attributed as hearsay, urban legend, or gossip :(
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,325   +101

    @jobeard: If you'll kindly click the blue hyperlink in the first paragraph, you'll find CNET's coverage with a comment from Microsoft. Plus there's an official press release:

    If that's not credible enough for you then I'm not sure what will be :).
  9. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    ...or the media just trying to screw things up...

    It seems like it isn't a done deal after all:
    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas gave Microsoft 60 days to comply with the injunction, which forbids Microsoft from selling Word products that let people create custom XML documents, according to i4i. The ruling, which also includes additional damages Microsoft must pay, are related to a patent infringement suit filed by i4i.

    Above clip was cut from here:
  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,325   +101

    @strategic: Of course it isn't a done deal. Microsoft said it would appeal and the "60 days to comply" was mentioned in TechSpot's piece as well (last sentence).
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    Actually I saw that and it's a good reference -- just not obvious. Why make the reader guess or search about when it's so easy to just openly cite

    see the original article here

    or still more openly:

    I have always been a big advocate of citing our sources since joining back in April of 2005 as many can attest :)
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,325   +101

    @jobeard: While openly citing a source at the end of an article may be a good idea for the future, I don't think a 7-word-long hyperlink in a two-sentence-long paragraph is out of sight. Thanks for the input :).
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    So what will be the basis for appeal, "so what if it's stolen! people depend on word"?

    This sentence in one of the cited sources is quite t3elling, "The ruling is unlikely to affect anyone any time soon, said Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft. "It's going to take a long time for this kind of thing to get sorted out," he said."

    Meanwhile, there's a lot of legal parasites that need to be fed. M$ may possibly enlist the help of "Cerebrus" to guard the entry to their bank vault
  14. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    WOW...this is pretty amazing. And they've already paid $200 million copyright infringement? Unreal. I've never heard of "i4i." Anyone know what their story is? Who they are?
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    Yes -- including me, but the restriction is not the word processing capability nor even the Excel import of tables.
    The restriction, as I read it, is the XML processing -- which is not necessary at all in a word processing program.

    XML is primarily a 'content description' language and not a 'presentation' service.
    The HTML +- CSS (or in Word's case, the RTF) give presentation controls but do not
    describe 'here is the bibliography', 'this is a chapter', or 'this is the TOC'. Oh yea,
    word has style sheets that can be applied, but they do not actually describe the content as such.
    XML can be read by humans, but if you've ever seen it, who would ever willing chose to do so?
    XML is intended for online, machine processing of 'documents' exchanged between processes and even business correspondents.

    The programs that process XML sources are written using the SAX or DOM traversal models.
    (a java reference for doing so::

    Again, MS creates a one-size-fits-all product and manages to never learns that Less is More.
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    A world without I have to turn in papers in .doc or .docx for anti-plagiarism...D:.
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    God I'm so sick of all these patents and copyrights and intellectual property bullsh1t! It just hampers progress. OK, I'm no Microsoft fan as such, but Office 2007 is a first class product and all this continual legal bollocks is just nonsense!

    Anyone who thinks this is good news because it hurts Microsoft is just being retarded, plain and simple. This sort of thing hurts technology, hurts progress. Some of these patents are so unbelievably vague its not true. I wish this rubbish would stop.
  18. Patent infringement doesn't hamper progress because if companies didn't have their intellectual property protected, then anyone else could copy it and the first company would go bankrupt and not have the money to fund future development.
  19. I haven't looked, but what do you want to bet that OpenOffice violates the same XML patent?
  20. Microsoft were high among the *******s that campaigned for software patents in the first place though, phantasm66, so it's only poetic justic that it comes back to bite them in the *** like this.
  21. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 208

    I wouldn't expect anything less from a company that got it's start from stealing MS DOS. We must never forget that!
  22. Algoz

    Algoz TS Rookie Posts: 20

    In theory, patents are filed to protect the intellectual property of the 'inventor'. In practice, its to ensure that if used, the inventor can be compensated for his invention. i4i may well have the intellectual property rights to embedded format codes.

    But I doubt i4i would want the elimination of this feature from all commercial software. Its value would be severely reduced to products developed by i4i. I doubt that i4i would be able to build and market a word processor that is on a par with word, can achieve the market penetration, and not violate anyone else's intellectual property (including M$!).

    No, i4i will be looking for some sort of royalty payment, which they hope to get rich on (on the back of M$Word). So in the next 60 days, I guess we'll be (not) seeing some back office haggling, and a settlement with some kind of licencing agreement.

    Now, if i4i invented something, they are entitled to something. But for a judge to say to M$ must stop selling Word is plain stupid (IMHO).
  23. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,128   +129

    Don't forget that Windows itself was also a direct ripoff of Apple's OS back in 1990.
  24. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Yeah actually I did read it, and if you do a search "microsoft word" you'll find lots of articles that pretty much say the same thing. The only thing the media really does it take a small story and turn it into a huge 'disaster like' situation. Face it, Microsoft is too big, all they'll get is a 'slap on the wrist' (if that) and everything is back to normal the next day.
  25. This is the company that will come after user who have a illegal copy of there OS and make it impossible to use there software with out paying outrageous cost for it? Now they have been caught stealing software and not only using it but make a profit from what they ripoff. I wonder what they would do if it was there software that was taken and used to make a profit?
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