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Microsoft Still Fighting To Save Word

Microsoft will appeal on Sept. 23 the ban on Word sales recently handed down by an East Texas judge. Redmond is still claiming that victorious i4i's patent for processing custom XML in the famed word-processing program is invalid, and it hopes that getting out of Texas will help its chances.

But Redmond columnist Mary Jo Foley suspects that Microsoft will either just settle with i4i or will actually take the XML-processing technology out of Word altogether, something Microsoft is apparently prepared to do with a patch that already exists. Of course, Microsoft could also just buy i4i -- something the Canadian company might have been seeking (that's just our speculation, not anything i4i has actually said) when it sued Microsoft in the first place. In all likelihood, Microsoft will find some way to keep Word on the market.

The least-likely scenario seems to be the one in which Microsoft actually appeals and wins by successfully convincing a patent-appeals court that i4i's patent is invalid. In any case, Microsoft had better hurry up and figure something out; the ban on Word sales is scheduled to start on Oct. 10, just a couple of weeks before the Windows 7 release.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 25, 2009


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