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Updated: August 19, 2009 12:15 IST

Microsoft seeks stay on Word sale ban

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Microsoft has sought stay on a court injunction which bars it from selling its Word document creation software in the US for violating a patent belonging to a Canadian company.
AP Microsoft has sought stay on a court injunction which bars it from selling its Word document creation software in the US for violating a patent belonging to a Canadian company.

Microsoft on Tuesday sought stay on a court injunction which bars it from selling its popular Word document creation software in the US for violating a patent belonging to a Canadian company.

Toronto-based i4i had dragged Microsoft to court in 2007 for using its patented technology in the software without its permission.

In its ruling last week, the US District Court in Tyler, Texas, banned Microsoft from selling Word 2003, Word 2007 and future versions of the software that use i4i’s technology without a licence.

The court also ordered Microsoft to pay $290 million to i4i and directed it to comply within 60 days.

In an emergency motion filed with US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday, Microsoft requested it to put the injunction on hold pending appeal. Microsoft contended that i4i was not entitled to the injunction.

The Microsoft motion said: “It is undisputed that i4i does not have a product that could fill the gap left in the market by the injunction; rather, i4i’s products run as add-ons to Word.

“The district court acknowledged the absence of future harm, but deemed it irrelevant focusing instead on harm that i4i allegedly suffered years ago.”

Reacting to Microsoft’s motion, i4i chairman Loudon Owen said he expected it considering the importance of Word software to the Microsoft business.

“We firmly believe the jury verdict and judgment were both fair and correct and we have been vindicated through this process,” Owen was quoted as saying.

Microsoft Office, which includes Word, accounted for more than $3 billion in worldwide sales in Microsoft’s most recent fiscal year and is used by literally millions of businesses and consumers for everyday tasks like word processing and making spreadsheets and presentations.

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