Judge orders Microsoft to pay $300M in Word patent case
Injunction bars Word sales, affects Office 2003, 2007, 2010 and Mac 2008
Computerworld - Microsoft must pay nearly $300 million in damages and interest to Canadian company i4i because it infringed the latter's patent for a document system that relies on XML custom formatting, according to court documents filed yesterday.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis has also slapped an injunction on Microsoft forbidding it to sell Word 2003, Word 2007, and Word for Mac 2008 in the U.S. The injunction takes effect Oct. 10.
Although a jury awarded Toronto-based i4i $200 million in damages last May, Davis' final order wasn't released until Tuesday. In it, he spelled out the total Microsoft owes i4i.
- $200 million in damages for infringing the i4i patent;
- $40 million in "enhanced damages" for Microsoft's "willful infringement";
- $11.8 million in post-verdict damages, calculated from the May jury verdict through yesterday;
- $38.8 million in pre-judgment interest.
The grand total comes to $290.6 million.
Microsoft said it plans to appeal the decision. "We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said company spokesman Kevin Kutz in an e-mail. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict."
According to Davis' injunction, Microsoft is barred from selling "Word 2003, Word 2007 and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Word 2003 or Word 2007," as well as "any Infringing and Future Word products that have the capability of opening a .XML, .DOCX or .DOCM file containing custom XML."
.DOCX, introduced in Office 2003, is the default file format for Word 2003 and Word 2007; .DOCM is the same file format, but with macros enabled. Although the Word 2003 and Word 2007 file formats are different, both are based on XML (Extensible Markup Language).
Word 2008 for Mac, which is already in customers' hands, and Word 2010, the word processor slated for release in Office 2010 in the first half of next year, are also able to open the file formats Davis listed, and thus are affected by the injunction.
This is not the first time that Office file formats have been taken to task. Just last week, for example, Microsoft said it would add a file format "ballot" to Office 2010 as part of a campaign of concessions to ward off European Union (EU) antitrust regulators. Microsoft's proposal let European customers select the default file format from an unspecified number of choices, including the company's own XML-based format, Open Office XML (OOXML) and Open Document Format (ODF), an increasingly popular open-source document standard.
Read more about Legal in Computerworld's Legal Topic Center.
- SIP Migration: Addressing CIOs' Concerns Recent data from IDG Research shows that many IT executives are counting on SIP to help them meet employee efficiency and customer experience...
- SBIC: Transforming Information Security This report combines perspectives on technologies with experience in strategy to help security teams navigate complex decisions regarding technology deployments while maximizing investments.
- InfoTech: Cloud File Sharing Organizations are increasingly turning to cloud file sharing solutions to meet end-user's needs for a lightweight and effective collaboration tool. In this report,...
- Rethinking Backup and Recovery As enterprises continue to transform their data centers, and virtualization plays an increasing role in their IT infrastructures, the way data is backed...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed in recent years, and it continues to escalate. All Legal White Papers | Webcasts
Computerworld has launched its annual search for outstanding IT leaders who align technology with business goals. Nominate a top IT executive for the 2015 Premier 100 IT Leaders awards now through July 18.