Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

Summary: Can the world survive without the latest version of Word? Microsoft thinks not.

SHARE:

Can the world survive without the latest version of Word? Microsoft thinks not. Facing an injunction of sales of the Office flagship over a patent violation, Microsoft asked to stay the injuction while it appeals a $290 million verdict that found it violated i4i's patents, PC World reports.

"Microsoft and its distributors face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales. If left undisturbed, the district court's injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months," the firm's lawyers added. "The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs."

Would that means a huge break for Google and its free, online Docs and Apps offerings? eWeek thinks so:

The Word ban would level the word processing playing field for technology providers trying to muscle in on Microsoft's market. It means Google, Zoho and fellow SAAS (software as a service) conspirators looking for word processing market share would finally have a way in.

But in reality, would it be a total disaster if the stay were not lifted?

Barry Negrin, a partner with the New York firm Pryor Cashman LLP who has practiced patent and trademark law for 17 years, agreed with i4i, saying that Microsoft should be able to work around the injunction with an "easy technical" fix. "All Microsoft has to do is disable the custom XML feature, which should be pretty easy to do, then give that a different SKU number from what's been sold so it's easy to distinguish the two versions," said Negrin said in an interview on Friday.

So, it this mostion just FUD?

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

16 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Microsoft will pay the judgment and will appeal

    nt
    Dietrich T. Schmitz
    • It's what anyone would do.

      Though I could see a motion to have it moved to a more level headed state the second time around.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • Actually, MS should just license it and then, they can claim their product

    is better because they have kludged xml, and OpenOffice does
    not!!
    DonnieBoy
    • That's not what makes MS Office better than OO.o (NT)

      *&*
      Loverock Davidson
    • Open Office

      is not a factor, so why even bring that up?
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

    well isn't that true? The injunction was a bunch of bull crap to begin with along with the excessive fines. The bottom line is that we need Microsoft to appeal this injunction then counter sue i4i for the sake of office suites and organized data everywhere. This is much bigger than just Microsoft not being able to sell Word, its about being able to have data and structure it. i4i needs to go down, and with everyone's help we can back Microsoft on this and make it happen!
    Loverock Davidson
    • well personally ill stay put

      have a truck load of beer and enjoy the show
      (ms rolling like a devil dip in holy water) its a nice show

      and just to see MS get wack one time for real ill accept a few month without office suite or more or ever .....

      Payback is a biitch and for one there having it ...


      Its great
      Quebec-french
    • RE: Microsoft cries the sky will fall if the injunction is not stayed

      Loverock,

      You are too emotionally involved with this, in my view. I actually went on Google and read the injunction against Microsoft in regards to their patent violation of i4i's patent. There are other ways to organize data besides xml. I'm not a database expert, but I understand how essential it is to have data, and to organize and structure it properly. I strongly disagree with your view that i4i needs to go down. My view is that Microsoft needs to respect patents, just like any other company and they cannot be allowed to violate patents. A patent means a company owns the rights to an invention, intellectual property, or technology for a limited period of time, commonly 20 years from the filing date. (Here's the link from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent) The sky will not fall if this injunction is not stayed, nor will Microsoft go under financially. They have more money than most companies have these days. All they need to do is find a software workaround to take care of this issue. That's what programmers are for, right? Microsoft has some of the world's best programmers on staff. Believe me, I'm not pro-Microsoft, but I am for protecting the integrity of a company's patents. That's my two cents on this.
      wolflight
  • RE: Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

    Not only in Word,MS may meet challenge when releases PowerPoint 2010,the new fuctions to make PowerPoint presentation to play on the Web may not attract too much attention,because lots of such solutions existed long time ago,like http://www.slideshare.net/(a provider of uploading and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios on Internet) and http://www.dvd-ppt-slideshow.com/ (a professional powerpoint to dvd/video solution provider)
    dwightgenius
  • I use the custom xml feature...

    For a project, I guess it wouldn't be all that huge of a deal if we had to remove it. But how annoying would it be to not be able to buy 2007 licences for a while, when the customer is adding more editors onto the project.
    x21x
  • i4i should go one step further

    and insist that MS disable all current users of Word via the Microsoft Update or WGA mechanism
    deaf_e_kate
    • Why would any judge agree to that.

      Given the impact it would have to the users, who
      are innocent bystanders, no judge would agree to
      that. Be reasonable.
      bmonsterman
  • Interesting

    This is an interesting case, if only because it shows that for all their accusations about open source software infringing on Microsoft patents, Microsoft is not immune either. No matter the outcome of this case, the need for patent reform just grows exponentially by the day.
    Divergex
  • RE: Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

    This is not really about Microsoft or i4i. It's really about companies violating the patents and intellectual property of other companies. The holders of patents have rights that must be respected for the period their patents are valid, which from what I've read online is 20 years from the date of issue. Companies like Microsoft and others cannot be allowed to infringe on the patents of other companies. I'm not sure I agree with deaf_e_kate, as that's kind of extreme, in my view, but it does send a message to Microsoft and other companies about respecting the patents of other companies.
    wolflight
  • RE: Microsoft cries the sky will fall if injunction not stayed

    The problem is that current patent law allows companies who have never previously filed or used their own patents to sit as patent trolls just waiting for one of the top tier players to stumble into anything resembling the same technological idea!

    This is effectively blackmail which forces the "infringing" company to pay "protection" in order to keep its products on the market.

    Not knowing the history of i4i's claim, I don't know if that is what happened here but it could be that simple.
    M Wagner
  • Microsoft Word is the the tail fins of office software

    Microsoft Word is the "tail fins" of office productivity software. Anyone still paying to use Word instead of upgrading to OpenOffice is either foolishly nostalgic or willfully ignorant.

    That being said, this ridiculous lawsuit demonstrates how absurd software patents are. Maybe now that Microsoft is on the losing end of a lawsuit, we might see some serious effort to reform our patent laws (but personally, I doubt it).
    bblackmoor9