Microsoft appeals Word ruling, asks for stay

The software giant hopes the court will set aside a ruling that would halt the sales of Word

Microsoft on Tuesday asked a court to stay an injunction that could put a stop to sales of Microsoft Word.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Microsoft also asked for an expedited review of its appeal.

The moves follow an injunction issued by the court last week that said Microsoft had 60 days to stop selling Word products that let users create custom XML documents.

The ruling, which also includes additional damages Microsoft must pay, was related to a patent infringement suit filed by i4i in 2007. The court has issued total damages against Microsoft of more than US$290 million.

The most common versions of Word on the market now, Word 2003 and Word 2007, both allow users to create custom XML documents.

If Microsoft doesn't win a stay, it may be able to develop a workaround that avoids using the technology in question or possibly strip the capability from the products.

I4i expected the appeal but will continue to enforce its patent, said Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i.

Microsoft said it believes it hasn't infringed the patent, which it argues is also invalid.

Custom XML allows people to create forms or templates such that words in certain fields are tagged and then can be managed in a database, Owen said.

Large companies and government agencies, for example, might create such templates.

I4i's patent covers technology that lets end-users manipulate document architecture and content.

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