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Microsoft banned from selling MS word in US

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In a case filed against Microsoft by a Canadian company from Toronto named i4i Microsoft has been deprived of the rights for selling its product Microsoft Word which is a part of MS office in the United states. Microsoft has been accused of infringing patents owned by another company, i4i. The legal dispute centres around the way Microsoft Word handles certain kinds of documents.
i4i, based in Toronto, Canada, claimed that Microsoft "willingly violated" a patent granted in 1998 concerning methods for reading XML, a kind of programming language. XML allows users to customise the format of word-processing documents, enabling them to be read by various word-processing programs. Microsoft Word's ability to read and write XML documents is a crucial feature of the popular software.

Judge Leonard Davis, of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that Microsoft had infringed i4i's patent, and ordered the software giant to pay $290 million (£176 million) in damages. This included $40 million (£25 million) for the wilful infringement of the patent, $37 million (£23 million) in pre-judgement interest, and a further $21,102 (£13,000) per day until a final judgement is reached.

The ruling covers all Microsoft Word products that can open XML files or DOCX and DOCM documents. Microsoft has been given 60 days to comply with the injunction.

Microsoft said it would appeal against the verdict. "We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said Kevin Kutz, a spokesman for the software giant. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid."


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