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Microsoft Loses Office i4i XML Patent Appeal

Dec 22, 2009, 23:02 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stuart J. Johnston)

"Microsoft Tuesday lost its appeal of a patent lawsuit regarding Office 2007's "custom XML" feature and now has to remove the offending feature from products sold in the U.S. post haste.

"Analysts said the blowback from the court upholding i4i's victory means that Microsoft, and other large developers, will need to factor litigation costs into future projects.

"The ruling came from a three -- judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which granted the plaintiff -- tiny Canadian firm i4i -- a permanent injunction blocking Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) from selling any version of Office that contains the infringing features.

"The technology in question is a set of tools for writing so-called "custom" XML (eXtended Markup Language) often used for file portability in products like Microsoft Word. Last summer, a lower court ruled Microsoft had infringed i4i's patent on the technology."

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