Canadian firm wins battle with Microsoft, court orders injunction against Word
TORONTO — A U.S. court has issued an injunction to stop Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) from selling its popular Microsoft Word software in the United States after a jury found the company violated a patent belonging to a small Canadian firm.
The world’s largest software company was ordered to pay US$290 million to Toronto-based i4i LP for knowingly violating a patent with the Microsoft Word 2003 and Word 2007 word processing software, in a ruling Tuesday by Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas.
Microsoft said it would appeal the verdict.
“We are disappointed by the court’s ruling. We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid,” Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said in a statement.
I4i argued successfully in court that the U.S.-issued patent was violated by the way Microsoft’s Word programs handle documents.
“The permanent Injunction is an important determination for i4i and for the rights of all patent owners.” said Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i and McLean Watson Capital.
The jury awarded US$200 million in damages in May but the judge had the authority to increase that amount and bar Microsoft from using the technology if he agreed that Microsoft had “wilfully” violated the patent.
Toronto-based i4i sued the world’s largest software maker last year over the way Word 2003 and Word 2007 customize XML, or “extensible markup language,” which is used in encoding and displaying information.
The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.