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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just upheld a decision that would see Microsoft Word and Office banned from sale starting January 11.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:14 pm (utc) on Dec. 22, 2009]
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This is, by software patent standards, a very unusual case: unquestionably the alleged infringer got information about the plaintiff's patented technology, and commercially viable products based on it, from the plaintiff. (In most software patent suits, the issue is clearly independent development. In fact, many plaintiffs never actually developed the technology--just patented a similar idea.)
We have just learned that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied our appeal in the i4i case. We are moving quickly to comply with the injunction, which takes effect on January 11, 2010. (...) With respect to Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007, we have been preparing for this possibility since the District Court issued its injunction in August 2009 and have put the wheels in motion to remove this little-used feature from these products. Therefore, we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction.
It's puzzling why Microsoft felt the need to "cut off that particular [business partner's] air supply." You'd think it was much too tiny a puddle for the 800-pound gorilla to stomp in. I guess when you're Microsoft, friends are people to backstab when there are no enemies in reach.
^ right, so we really don't have a problem here at all.
No. Not from the sounds of it. The sensational headline was more wishful thinking than reality. Microsoft will have a patch in place by the deadline that will remove the feature from the Office suite and that will probably be the last we'll hear of this.
Microsoft will have a patch in place by the deadline that will remove the feature from the Office suite and that will probably be the last we'll hear of this.
I thought its was generally considered that software could not be patented?
Unfortunately many of them are of the most silly types that just stop things from happening (like all ways you can imagine to make a graphical cursor work are patented. Even those any kid without any experience can "reinvent" without prior knowledge just by explaining them the damage problem that needs to be solved.