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Could we all be getting MS Word for FREE soon?

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Well you have to love patent laws and according to a judge in Texas he ruled that Mircrosoft is banned from selling Word in the US.

This cant be good especially since MS is getting ready to release Office 2010. According to the article:

The injunction reads:

Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined from performing the following actions with Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 (collectively "Infringing and Future Word Products”) during the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449:

1. selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any
Infringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML,
.DOCX, or .DOCM file ("an XML file”) containing custom XML;

2. using any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file
containing custom XML;

3. instructing or encouraging anyone to use any Infringing and Future Word
Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;

4. providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;

and

5. testing, demonstrating, or marketing the ability of the Infringing and Future
Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML.

This injunction does not apply to any of the above actions wherein the Infringing and Future Word Products open an XML file as plain text.

Needless to say, Microsoft won't pull Word off the market. The company has said it plans to appeal, and i4i actually sells XML products for Word, making that company reliant on the ecosystem. An agreement will be reached: probably one involving Microsoft signing a big check.

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missb's picture
missb
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Re: Could we all be getting MS Word for FREE soon?
Oh please, I'd like to see them trying to make that happen, there's no way... Word is the most widely used word processor in the world and its awesome, one way or another it will be back on the market.. I Heart word!
Smartmom's picture
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Re: Could we all be getting MS Word for FREE soon?

Oh its not of the market nor do I ever see it as being removed. However the company that holds the patent well they just hit the lotto. Microsoft is going to have to cough up a chunk of change to make everyone happy. Laughing time to buy stock in the company with the patent Wink

Smartmom's picture
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Re: Could we all be getting MS Word for FREE soon?

Well its going back to court - I think we all saw that coming. I have to say I agree with what MS said in the appeal - read more here:

Microsoft: Word Judgment Seriously Flawed

Microsoft and i4i will face off in court next month over a judgment that ordered Microsoft to stop distribution of Word amidst patent violations.

Microsoft filed an appeal on Tuesday, arguing that stopping shipment of Word would cause it and its distributors irreparable harm. A judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit subsequently said that she will hear the appeal on September 23.

Also on Tuesday, the court granted Microsoft's emergency motion to waive the requirement for Microsoft to post a bond against the judgment while the case is appealed.

Microsoft is now required to pay nothing until the appeal is resolved. If Microsoft loses, they have 15 days to pay up, according to the filing.

On Aug. 11, a District Court in Texas handed down a $290 million judgment against the software giant and ordered the company to remove Word from the market within 60 days because it violated a patent held by i4i.

The judgment is baseless, Microsoft argued in its appeal, for four reasons: Microsoft is likely to succeed on the merits because the district court committed legal errors; Microsoft will be irreparably injured by an injunction that has the potential to remove its flagship product from the market for months; i4i, whose main product is an add-on to Word, will not be injured by a stay pending appeal; and the public will face hardship if Word and Office are absent from the market for any period.

On the first point, Microsoft basically argued that i4i has not incurred any damages that could not be solved with a little cold, hard cash.

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