Yet more evidence that the US patent system is so broke it is unusable.
Got to love people making millions for doing nothing but reading terms and conditions, losers :/
so if i read that right the plaintiffs are saying that because xml can be read by a person and a pc ms cant use it? wouldnt that also be true for any programming language/html/vbscript/batch files/dos commands etc or almost anything you can do on a computer without a gui?
Surely just because word can read XML, then Open Office, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc should also be stopped as I can open XML in them (or did I miss the point?)
It seems to me that profit and competition are all too often the enemies of progress.
It almost certainly has other repercussions, yes, but I haven't read the patent yet so I can't comment on exactly what.
It looks like MS saw someone else's existing product, and then made their own version that did the same thing.
From The Prior Art:
I4i, ... markets various software products ... as well as a product called x4o, which enables an XML editing feature in Microsoft Word. That product, priced at $249 and covered by the patent-in-suit, No. 5,787,449, became a lot less valuable to i4i when Microsoft installed its own XML editing features in Word 2003.
Cawley says that i4i demonstrated its product to Microsoft in 2001. Instead of buying it, i4i contended, Microsoft proceeded to simply incorporate a similar function of its own (i4i did not accuse Microsoft of copying its code or product).
What does Cawley think won the case for i4i? "Probably Microsoft's internal e-mails showing they knew about i4i's patent and chose to make i4i's product obsolete," he says.
Groklaw - The i4i v. Microsoft Orders and Permanent Injunction
In accordance with the Court’s contemporaneously issued memorandum opinion and order in this case, Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined from performing the following actions with Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 (collectively “Infringing and Future Word Products”) during the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449:
1. selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any Infringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM file (“an XML file”) containing custom XML;
2. using any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;
3. instructing or encouraging anyone to use any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;
4. providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML; and
5. testing, demonstrating, or marketing the ability of the Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML.
This injunction does not apply to any of the above actions wherein the Infringing and Future Word Products open an XML file as plain text.
This injunction also does not apply to any of the above actions wherein any of the Infringing and Future Word Products, upon opening an XML file, applies a custom tranform that removes all custom XML elements.
This injunction further does not apply to Microsoft providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any of the infringing products to open an XML file containing custom XML if that product was licensed or sold before the date this injunction takes effect.
This injunction becomes effective 60 days from the date of this order.
So ORDERED and SIGNED this 11th day of August, 2009.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The thing is they will appeal and even if they lose. All that will happen is MS will pay I4I a bunch of money.
Or they buy i4i. You might want to grab a few shares!