Microsoft wins fast-track appeal of Word ban

Company must submit arguments to federal appellate court today, hearing on stay set for Sept. 23

A panel of federal judges has granted Microsoft Corp.'s request for a fast-track appeal of the injunction that prohibits the company from selling its popular Word software after Oct. 10.

Microsoft must make its case to the three judges by the end of business today.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week approved Microsoft's demand for an expedited hearing for its appeal. At the same time, the court denied Microsoft's motion for an "administrative stay" that would have nullified the injunction.

The injunction, which bars Microsoft from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 in their current forms after Oct 10, was mandated by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis on Aug. 11 after the company was found guilty by a Texas jury of infringing a patent held by Canadian software developer i4i Inc.

Davis also awarded i4i more than $290 million in damages and interest.

On Aug. 18, Microsoft filed a motion to stay the injunction while it takes the case to appeal. In that motion, Microsoft warned of "massive disruptions" to its sales, as well as those of important OEM (original equipment manufacturers) partners such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., if the injunction was not put on hold.

Although a patent attorney with 17 years experience said Microsoft would be able to quickly create a workaround to disable the offending Word's "custom" XML feature, the company claimed it would be unable to modify Word 2003 and Word 2007 by the Oct. 10 deadline.

According to the Court of Appeals calendar for the case, Microsoft must file a brief today outlining its arguments for the stay. i4i's response brief is due two weeks later, on Sept. 8, while Microsoft's reply to that must reach the court by noon on Sept. 14.

An oral hearing is slated for Sept. 23, less than three weeks before the injunction is to take effect. The Court of Appeals would render its verdict on Microsoft's motion at some point after that.

Earlier, the judge said in a summary opinion of the case that evidence presented during the May trial showed Microsoft intended to make i4i's software "obsolete" by adding the custom XML feature to Word.

Davis also took shots at Microsoft for trying to do business as usual in the face of the verdict and his injunction.

"Even after several years of litigation and a jury verdict of infringement, Microsoft requests the ability to continue selling the accused products and release an upcoming product with the same infringing functionality," Davis said two weeks ago.

i4i did not respond to a request for comment on the expedited schedule.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags microsoft wordMicrosofti4ilegallawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?