MSFT appeals judge's block of Word

Microsoft filed its appeal in the patent case that could block Redmond from selling Word 2003 and 2007, The Wall Street Journal reports. A May decision dinged Microsoft $290 million for infringing patents owned by i4i Inc.

Microsoft filed its appeal in the patent case that could block Redmond from selling Word 2003 and 2007, The Wall Street Journal reports. A May decision dinged Microsoft $290 million for infringing patents owned by i4i Inc. of Toronto.

In the appeal, Microsoft said the injunction would cause "irreparable harm" -- a legal standard to obtain a stay of injunction. Lawyers said the judge failed in his role of "gatekeeper."

It is the judge who, before allowing [a] verdict to become an enforceable judgment, must ensure that the verdict is adequately supported by the evidence and supportable under the law. This case stands as a stark example of what can happen in a patent case when a judge abdicates those gatekeeping functions. We believe the court erred in its interpretation and application of the law in this case and look forward to the Sept. 23 hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

i4i Chairman Loudon Owen said the appeal "captures the hostile attitude of Microsoft toward inventors who dare to enforce patents against them."

To my mind, Microsoft is probably right. There's something deeply flawed when a patent infringement - which could be made right by compulsory licensing - is allowed to stop a major product upgrade affecting millions of users and hundreds of millions of dollars. That's just too disruptive to the business markets and shows a deeply out-of-whack system.