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Texan judge outlaws Word

Pssst! Wanna buy some word processing

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The US District Court of Eastern Texas has granted an injunction to prevent Microsoft from selling copies of Word because it infringes a patent owned by another company.

The long-running court case was brought by Canadian software firm i4i which won $200m in damages from Microsoft when a jury found it had willfully infringed a patent relating to XML custom formatting.

In yesterday's order Judge Leonard Davis told Microsoft to pay $40m for the willful infringement, $37m in prejudgement interest and $21,102 per day till final judgement is reached. The court also ordered Microsoft to hand over $144,060 a day until the date of final judgement of damages.

Until that point Microsoft is banned from selling or importing into the US any Word products which can open .XML, .DOCX, or DOCM files containing custom XML.

Microsoft has 60 days to comply with the injunction, according to this release from lawyers McCool Smith.

i4i, based in Toronto, Canada, owns U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449. The original $200m payment was considered by the court to be a reasonable royalty.

We're still waiting to hear back from Microsoft UK but US reports suggest an appeal is under consideration. ®

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