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Microsoft ordered to stop selling Microsoft Word

     
8:15 am on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word products in their current form in the U.S., but legal appeals or technical work-arounds make an actual halt of sales unlikely.

Source: PC World [pcworld.com]
12:44 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand how anyone can have a patent for creating custom XML templates, which is what the article says is the problem.

If the patent stands, then there are legal implications for all of us, surely?

1:16 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What the.....? This is WAY out there... Does that mean a halt of the sale of all of Microsoft Office? What's going on here?
1:18 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Next step might be, Microsoft buying i4i
1:54 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i4i ?!?

Eye for eye, from Exodus 21:2327, where someone who has taken the eye of another in a fight is instructed to give his own eye in compensation.

Hmmmm. Sounds like something from a cheap paperback novel.

2:03 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like a publicity stunt to me.

I'll be extremely surpeised if that patent holds up as I say.

2:05 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm. Sounds like something from a cheap paperback novel.
It is, really.

Anyways, what's up with this 'world vs microsoft' thing?

2:10 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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OK, MS has been guilty of "unethical" behavior in the past. If you're a vindictive SOB then I suppose this is payback, but come on ... what a sham.

And if these nitwits are making a pun of a Bible verse, how about (bending over and) turning the other cheek (before the mighty MS boot comes their way)?

5:34 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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On one hand this is the result what those silly software patents yield.

On the other hand there is Microsoft's past actions regarding them violating software patents and e.g, them letting the end users pay the price for their unwillingness to settle e.g The whole eolas affair where the users and us webmaster were forced into from 2006 till 2008 (after they finally licensed it anyway...)

So count me as neither a fan of the concent of software patents, nor of the way Microsoft behaves in relation to them.

6:00 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, it's hard to know who to cheer for here. The lawyers? The patent troll? Microsoft? "Go, Gingham Cat! At'em, Calico Dog!"
6:12 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, the lawyers are going to be the ones making out (as usual). I'll bet on them, but I won't cheer for them. I would say I'm most AGAINST the patent troll.

swa66's final comment echos my feelings as well.

6:12 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't OpenOffice and iWork also use custom XML templates?

It just seems there is something missing in this article.

6:29 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Weeks, that's funny. I would have never thought that i4i means "eye for an eye":

"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

Microsoft a few years ago might have dragged this out for decades, but now they will make an offer to drop all appeals and buy the company. An i4i attitude against MSFT might leave the other person blind ;)

6:38 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Whenever I create an XML sheet it's custom to the site I'm building it for, how can anyone already have a patent on that? I'm apparently missing something from that article.
10:41 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft must be torn on how to respond to this. Doubtless their lawyers could shoot this down with little difficulty, however, in doing so, they might shoot down their own patents too! Buying the company might be the smartest move even though the price will inevitably be silly.

Kaled.

12:42 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You could patent the method for creating an XML document automatically using software based on a text corpus. Why not?
2:22 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, the patent in question lies here [i.zdnet.com].

Looks like it was issued by USPTO several months after the XML standard was published. WHile on the surface it talks about manipulating architecture and content separately (isn't that what CSS/HTML does), it makes reference to SGML as an example of what it is improving upon.

What the patent app describes appears to be something very different than XML, since it goes into great detail of how the metadata is stored separately from the document stream using pointers (yeah, another patentable idea), etc.

The invention does not use embedded metacoding to differentiate the content of the document, but rather the metacodes of the document are separated from the content and held in distinct storage in a structure called a metacode map, whereas document content is held in a mapped content area...

So who knows? Greedy patent owners trying to overreach their intellectual property, or something MS is doing on the software side of things?

[edited by: encyclo at 2:33 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2009]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

2:58 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Not saying it will happen in the instant case, but some previous "patent holders" have lost their patent upon review. Just a heads up....
6:02 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It sounds more like XML -AND- XSL(T) -AND- a database. Not very much like RTF...

The original w3 draft for XSLT was in 1998 and the patent in question was filed June 2, 1994.

I think it's one for the lawyers, or the MSFT CFO to weigh.

9:19 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What I don't get is why a Canadian company is suing a Washington company in *Texas* - huh?
8:55 pm on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't the eBay suit filed in Texas too? If I recall correctly, there is one specific county where a lot of patent battles are fought out.

Edit: it's probably the Federal District Court in Marshall TX. Apparently, according to a 2006 NYT article: "patent cases are heard faster in Marshall than in many other courts. And while only a small number of cases make it to trial roughly 5 percent patent holders win 78 percent of the time, compared with an average of 59 percent nationwide [..]"

7:42 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Strange... the USPTO website lists Patent #5787499 as "withdrawn".
4:36 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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really? I just look around.