Judge orders Microsoft to pay US$300M in Word patent case

Injunction bars Word sales, affects Office 2003, 2007, 2010 and Mac 2008

Microsoft must pay nearly US$300 million in damages and interest to Canadian company i4i because it infringed the latter's patent for a document system that relies on XML custom formatting, according to court documents filed yesterday.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis has also slapped an injunction on Microsoft forbidding it to sell Word 2003, Word 2007, and Word for Mac 2008 in the U.S. The injunction takes effect Oct. 10.

Although a jury awarded Toronto-based i4i $200 million in damages last May, Davis' final order wasn't released until Tuesday. In it, he spelled out the total Microsoft owes i4i.

  • $200 million in damages for infringing the i4i patent;
  • $40 million in "enhanced damages" for Microsoft's "willful infringement";
  • $11.8 million in post-verdict damages, calculated from the May jury verdict through yesterday;
  • $38.8 million in pre-judgment interest.

The grand total comes to US$290.6 million.

Microsoft said it plans to appeal the decision. "We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said company spokesman Kevin Kutz in an e-mail. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict."

According to Davis' injunction, Microsoft is barred from selling "Word 2003, Word 2007 and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Word 2003 or Word 2007," as well as "any Infringing and Future Word products that have the capability of opening a .XML, .DOCX or .DOCM file containing custom XML."

.DOCX, introduced in Office 2003, is the default file format for Word 2003 and Word 2007; .DOCM is the same file format, but with macros enabled. Although the Word 2003 and Word 2007 file formats are different, both are based on XML (Extensible Markup Language).

Word 2008 for Mac, which is already in customers' hands, and Word 2010, the word processor slated for release in Office 2010 in the first half of next year, are also able to open the file formats Davis listed, and thus are affected by the injunction.

This is not the first time that Office file formats have been taken to task. Just last week, for example, Microsoft said it would add a file format "ballot" to Office 2010 as part of a campaign of concessions to ward off European Union (EU) antitrust regulators. Microsoft's proposal let European customers select the default file format from an unspecified number of choices, including the company's own XML-based format, Open Office XML (OOXML) and Open Document Format (ODF), an increasingly popular open-source document standard.

Join the newsletter!

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

Tags microsoft wordMicrosoft

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?