Appeals court grants Microsoft reprieve in Word case

Stays injunction that was to take effect Oct. 10 while appeal moves forward

A US federal appeals court today granted Microsoft's request to suspend an injunction that would have barred the company from selling its Word software next month.

In a short order filed near the end of the day, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal District approved Microsoft's earlier request for a stay of the injunction.

"Without prejudicing the ultimate determination of this case by the merits panel, the court determines based upon the motion papers submitted that Microsoft has met its burden to obtain a stay of the injunction," the court said.

The injunction would have prevented Microsoft from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 in their current forms after Oct 10, and was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis on Aug. 11, after the company was found guilty in May by a Texas jury of infringing a patent held by Canadian software developer i4i. 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 took the case to appeal. In that motion, Microsoft warned of "massive disruptions" to its sales, as well as those of important OEM partners such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, if the injunction was not put on hold.

Microsoft also said that the injunction, and the resulting need to retool Word to remove the infringing "custom" XML feature, could keep Word 2003 and Word 2007 -- and the suites that they are part of, Office 2003 and Office 2007 -- off the market for months.

Several days later, Microsoft was granted a fast-track appeals process, which requires i4i to file a response to Microsoft's appeal by next Tuesday, Sept. 8. Microsoft's rebuttal must reach the court by noon on Sept. 14.

Both Dell and HP have filed amicus curiae , or "friend of the court," briefs, arguing that Word's revision, and the resulting changes necessary on their part to re-image new PCs, would "require extensive time- and resource-consuming retesting."

Dell and HP also asked that, assuming a stay was not granted, that the injunction be postponed by 120 days.

"We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on September 23," said Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz in an e-mail today.

Kutz's reference was to the oral hearing before the Court of Appeals, during which both sides will present their cases. The three-judge panel will render its verdict at some point after the Sept. 23 hearing.

Representatives for i4i were not available for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftmicrosoft wordOffice 2010

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?