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A Judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling its popular Word document creation application in the United States in 60 days, after finding that the software contains technology that violates a patent held by a third party.Microsoft Office, which includes Word, accounted for more than $3 billion in worldwide sales in Microsoft's most recent fiscal year and is used by literally millions of businesses and consumers for everyday tasks like word processing and making spreadsheets and presentations.........Specifically, Davis said Microsoft can't sell versions of Word that can open documents saved in the .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM formats that contain custom XML. Those formats were at the heart of the patent dispute. .DOCX is the default format for the most current version of Word, which is included in Microsoft Office 2007. Custom XML is used by businesses to link their corporate data to Word documents."Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined" from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 in the U.S. Davis, wrote in his order.Davis also prohibited Microsoft from providing technical support for infringing products sold after the injunction takes effect, or from "testing, demonstrating, or marketing the ability of the infringing and future Word products to open an XML file containing custom XML."Davis said the injunction does not apply to versions of Word that open an XML file as plain text or which apply a transform that removes all custom XML elements—possibly paving the way for Microsoft to issue a patch that rectifies the problem.
A Texan court has ruled that Microsoft must stop selling Word in the United States, after finding the software giant guilty of copyright infringement Photo: EPA Microsoft has been accused of infringing patents owned by another company, i4i. The legal dispute centres around the way Microsoft Word handles certain kinds of documents. i4i, based in Toronto, Canada, claimed that Microsoft "willingly violated" a patent granted in 1998 concerning methods for reading XML, a kind of programming language. XML allows users to customise the format of word-processing documents, enabling them to be read by various word-processing programs. Microsoft Word's ability to read and write XML documents is a crucial feature of the popular software. 'EC guilty of maladministration over Intel' Judge Leonard Davis, of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that Microsoft had infringed i4i's patent, and ordered the software giant to pay $290 million (£176 million) in damages. This included $40 million (£25 million) for the wilful infringement of the patent, $37 million (£23 million) in pre-judgement interest, and a further $21,102 (£13,000) per day until a final judgement is reached. He also granted an injunction banning Microsoft from selling Microsoft Word in the United States, or importing the software in to the country. The ruling covers all Microsoft Word products that can open XML files or DOCX and DOCM documents. Microsoft has been given 60 days to comply with the injunction. Microsoft said it would appeal against the verdict. "We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said Kevin Kutz, a spokesman for the software giant. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid."