BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft Loses Word Appeal…. Word To Be Banned Jan. 11 [UPDATE]

Time for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to get out the chequebook.

You’ll recall that Microsoft got sued by a Canadian company called i4i over an XML patent that they used in Word and lost. Microsoft then appealed and got a stay of execution until the issue was decided. Well, the issue has been decided and Microsoft just lost:

The ruling, by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit — which handles many patent and trademark cases — may signal the endgame of a long-running dispute between Microsoft and Toronto-based i4i Ltd.

Now Ballmer and company could always appeal. But seeing as they have to stop selling Word by January 11th or modify it to keep the court happy, a cheque from Microsoft and a cross licensing agreement seems way more likely. Microsoft has nothing to say about this as I type this up, but as soon as they do I will post it here.

UPDATE: This press release has Microsoft’s reaction:

“While we are moving quickly to address the injunction issue, we are also considering our legal options, which could include a request for a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc or a request for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court,”

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