Microsoft to Issue New Office 2007 Version to Avoid Sales Ban

Microsoft lost a court battle regarding one of the features of Microsoft Word 2007 that infringes a patent held by a Canadian company. It was ordered to remove the said features or else the company will no longer be allowed to sell Word or Microsoft Office 2007 by January 11,

The US Court of Appeals has upheld the decision made by the US District Court of Eastern Texas last August giving favor to Toronto-based I4i Inc. that the XML editor built into Word steps in its patent.

Patent number 5,787,449 is all about a program “manipulating a document’s content and architecture separately.” What is affected in Microsoft Word is the feature to open documents saved in .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM formats that contain custom XML.

I4i Chairman Loudon Owen said that they do not target to stop the sales of the giant company’s most profitable product. They only want to protect their patents and to set an example of dealing, and winning, cases against software infringement.

Well, Microsoft will not let that happen. Prior to the decision they have already made a version of Microsoft Office that does not have the XML feature as preparation if they lost the case.

Microsoft Office gave the company worldwide sales of 3 billion dollars during its last fiscal year.