Topic: A judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word in the U.S.  (Read 15419 times)

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Offline toasty0

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I think there is a chance you might be reading more into that section you quoted than is actually there...

Eh, maybe I should not even try.  *looks around the room and mumbles to self*...where did I leave that quote by Winston?
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Offline marstone

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I think there is a chance you might be reading more into that section you quoted than is actually there...

Eh, maybe I should not even try.  *looks around the room and mumbles to self*...where did I leave that quote by Winston?

 :smackhead:  I'll agree with ya on that.
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Offline Nemesis

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I think there is a chance you might be reading more into that section you quoted than is actually there...

I only see two interpretations:

1/ Microsoft Word customers have no alternative software they can use and hence Microsoft has a monopoly on word processing software (which is only illegal if they abuse that monopoly or took illegal actions to achieve it)

2/ Microsoft lawyers lied to a U.S. Federal Court judge about the customers having no alternative.

As I understand U.S. patent law, damage to customers is not a reason to avoid an injunction.  Only if irreparable harm to the company that the injunction is against (which is balanced against irreparable harm to the other party) is considered in blocking the injunction.  If I understand that right then Microsoft's claim of harm to the customers is not a valid obstacle to the injunction.

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Offline toasty0

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So this has gone from a patent suit to anti-monopoly trial?

A public good argument is always valid in any corporate suit.


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Offline Rod ONeal

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Microsoft Says it Will Temporarily Stop Selling Office if Word Ban Isn't Lifted

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=16037

<snip>
Some are puzzled, though, as to why Microsoft would stop selling Office, rather than simply changes it file format and distinguishing between the current and XML-less editions.  States Barry Negrin, a partner with the New York firm Pryor Cashman LLP who has practiced patent and trademark law for 17 years, "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 whatís been sold so itís easy to distinguish the two versions."

In the unlikely event that Microsoft does indeed carry through on its claim to stop selling Office, it could prove a headache for consumers and businesses, who rely on the software's functionality.  However, light-weight alternatives such as Open Office 3 (which nears Office 2007 in functionality) and Google Docs could get a brief boost if Microsoft Office disappeared for several months -- a prospect that has some excited.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Could you imagine if M$ continues to play chicken with this until they run head on into the compliance deadline and actually have to pull Office off of the shelves?
If Romulans aren't cowards, then why do they taste like chicken?

Offline Nemesis

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Could you imagine if M$ continues to play chicken with this until they run head on into the compliance deadline and actually have to pull Office off of the shelves?

I would imagine that in spite of their claims that they have already (they have had plenty of time during the lawsuit) prepared a version with the relevant menu options "greyed out" and unusable. 

This is likely just another legal ploy.
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Offline Nemesis

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So this has gone from a patent suit to anti-monopoly trial?

It was just my observation on the Microsoft lawyers comments combined with past statements by both Microsoft and its supporters.  I had thought it pretty clear.

A public good argument is always valid in any corporate suit.

I don't think that applies to patent suits.  Especially not when dealing with a convicted abusive monopolist. 

What will Microsoft do when (and if) they exhaust all their appeals and still lose?  Will they then claim they should be able to continue violating the patent until they can get around to fixing the violation?  All in the "public good" of course.

Consider their "punishment" from the U.S. courts where they were supposed to document parts of Windows.  Their time frame passed and was extended, it passed again and was extended , then it passed again and was extended yet again (and they are STILL not compliant).  How long would they stretch out a "mere" patent violation if they can't (or won't) obey documentation court orders.  Why should we believe they would rewrite their software in a timely manner if they can avoid it?

Note in the E.U, when ordered to provide documentation and failing they were fined.  When they failed again the fines were escalated and they complied. 
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Offline Nemesis

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Link to full article

Quote
TORONTO ó Microsoft's appeal of a patent infringement case it lost to Toronto-based i4i LP will be heard Sept. 23 in a U.S. court.

The United States Court of Appeals ordered an expedited hearing Thursday of the appeal of the i4i v. Microsoft case from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
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Seti Team    Free Software
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Offline toasty0

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So this has gone from a patent suit to anti-monopoly trial?


It was just my observation on the Microsoft lawyers comments combined with past statements by both Microsoft and its supporters.  I had thought it pretty clear.

A public good argument is always valid in any corporate suit.


I don't think that applies to patent suits.  Especially not when dealing with a convicted abusive monopolist. 


http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/empire/resources/ is a good starting point.

Quote
What will Microsoft do when (and if) they exhaust all their appeals and still lose?  Will they then claim they should be able to continue violating the patent until they can get around to fixing the violation?  All in the "public good" of course.


Like the patent is actually valid. It should be repealed and I think that will be the outcome of all this tomfoolery.

Quote
Consider their "punishment" from the U.S. courts where they were supposed to document parts of Windows.  Their time frame passed and was extended, it passed again and was extended , then it passed again and was extended yet again (and they are STILL not compliant).  How long would they stretch out a "mere" patent violation if they can't (or won't) obey documentation court orders.  Why should we believe they would rewrite their software in a timely manner if they can avoid it?

Note in the E.U, when ordered to provide documentation and failing they were fined.  When they failed again the fines were escalated and they complied.


All that has nothing to do with the legal merits of this case. 
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Offline toasty0

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Link to full article

Quote
TORONTO ó Microsoft's appeal of a patent infringement case it lost to Toronto-based i4i LP will be heard Sept. 23 in a U.S. court.

The United States Court of Appeals ordered an expedited hearing Thursday of the appeal of the i4i v. Microsoft case from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.



Very interesting.

This is a vital case for inventors and entrepreneurial companies who, like i4i, are damaged by the wilful infringement of their patents by competitors, particularly competitors as large and powerful as Microsoft."


Large and powerful is just legal speak for "they have the deepest pockets".

The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.

When will eye-4eye bring suits against any word processing program that uses the open standard...open office, Word Star, Word Perfect...

Never the less, this is a stupid patent award and should be repealed.
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Offline Nemesis

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http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/empire/resources/ is a good starting point.


A link to something that actually supports your claim would be interesting. 

Quote
What will Microsoft do when (and if) they exhaust all their appeals and still lose?  Will they then claim they should be able to continue violating the patent until they can get around to fixing the violation?  All in the "public good" of course.


Like the patent is actually valid. It should be repealed and I think that will be the outcome of all this tomfoolery.


I don't know enough to judge but it's up to the courts now. 

Have you read through the patent itself?  Most of those I see offering an opinion haven't and at least some who have seem to think it is valid.

Quote
Consider their "punishment" from the U.S. courts where they were supposed to document parts of Windows.  Their time frame passed and was extended, it passed again and was extended , then it passed again and was extended yet again (and they are STILL not compliant).  How long would they stretch out a "mere" patent violation if they can't (or won't) obey documentation court orders.  Why should we believe they would rewrite their software in a timely manner if they can avoid it?

Note in the E.U, when ordered to provide documentation and failing they were fined.  When they failed again the fines were escalated and they complied.


All that has nothing to do with the legal merits of this case.


The legal merits no.  It does however bear on whether they would comply with a court order to remove the "contested functionality" in a timely manner without some penalty such as having to remove the product from the market until they have done so.

Microsoft has a history of non compliance to court orders which don't include damages to them if they don't comply. 

If Microsoft is forced to remove the product from the market until they either have a non infringing version or they win on the appeals then Microsoft will push the case through quickly.  If they don't have any penalty for non compliance why would they want to push the cases to its completion quickly when being slow could bankrupt i4i and potentially allow then to get the patent for a pittance?
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Offline Nemesis

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This is a vital case for inventors and entrepreneurial companies who, like i4i, are damaged by the wilful infringement of their patents by competitors, particularly competitors as large and powerful as Microsoft."

Large and powerful is just legal speak for "they have the deepest pockets".


How about when Microsoft took their patent on FAT against TomTom (a smaller company in financial trouble)?  I'd say that there is doubt in the validity of a patent on FAT.  What do you call that? 

How about Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and his last few years of patent "sabre rattling" at Linux distributions where he refuses to specify what patents for fear they will be challenged and invalidated? 

The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.


Inaccurate.  It prevents them from selling Word products with specific functionality.  ODF (which is XML) for example does not violate the patent and Word can use it.  They can sell it with their own XML format as well so long as they disable the patented functions.

When will eye-4eye bring suits against any word processing program that uses the open standard...open office, Word Star, Word Perfect...


You could use the proper long form of its name: Infrastructures for Information.  I doubt that you like seeing M$ or Microsux so why not use the proper name for i4i?

OpenOffice has already been stated by i4i to not violate the patent and by extension one would assume Star Office is also not in violation.  Does Word Star still exist?  WordPerfect and the others need to check things out themselves.

Never the less, this is a stupid patent award and should be repealed.


I think that software should not be covered by patents at all as it already has copyright protection (and draconian EULAs in many cases).  Giving patent protection is "double dipping".

Whether THIS patent will stand up we will have to wait and see.
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Offline toasty0

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http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/empire/resources/ is a good starting point.


A link to something that actually supports your claim would be interesting.


I take it you read through all that information in a day, and watched the documentary and came to the conclusion that the 20+ year patent fights over radio technology has no bearing, relation, or interesting similarities here. *shrug* Can't argue with that if that's what you did.

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Offline toasty0

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This is a vital case for inventors and entrepreneurial companies who, like i4i, are damaged by the wilful infringement of their patents by competitors, particularly competitors as large and powerful as Microsoft."

Large and powerful is just legal speak for "they have the deepest pockets".


How about when Microsoft took their patent on FAT against TomTom (a smaller company in financial trouble)?  I'd say that there is doubt in the validity of a patent on FAT.  What do you call that? 

How about Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and his last few years of patent "sabre rattling" at Linux distributions where he refuses to specify what patents for fear they will be challenged and invalidated? 

The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.


Inaccurate.  It prevents them from selling Word products with specific functionality.  ODF (which is XML) for example does not violate the patent and Word can use it.  They can sell it with their own XML format as well so long as they disable the patented functions.


Hey, I quoted your source at http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hmeEJoOnn5akEsKGI9qA1HE-1SPQ  Last paragraph. Do you wonder if they are incorrect about this fact they may have other facts wrong as well?

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Offline Nemesis

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I take it you read through all that information in a day, and watched the documentary and came to the conclusion that the 20+ year patent fights over radio technology has no bearing, relation, or interesting similarities here. *shrug* Can't argue with that if that's what you did.

I went to the page and there are  a number of links but NOTHING to single out what you are referring to.  Being on dial up I'm not about to download an entire movie if one of those links leads to such a download and you did not refer to a movie in your posting.

When a link is provided to information there is USUALLY information directly on that page not on one of the multiple links off of it.
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Offline Nemesis

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This is a vital case for inventors and entrepreneurial companies who, like i4i, are damaged by the wilful infringement of their patents by competitors, particularly competitors as large and powerful as Microsoft."

Large and powerful is just legal speak for "they have the deepest pockets".


How about when Microsoft took their patent on FAT against TomTom (a smaller company in financial trouble)?  I'd say that there is doubt in the validity of a patent on FAT.  What do you call that? 

How about Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and his last few years of patent "sabre rattling" at Linux distributions where he refuses to specify what patents for fear they will be challenged and invalidated? 

The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.


Inaccurate.  It prevents them from selling Word products with specific functionality.  ODF (which is XML) for example does not violate the patent and Word can use it.  They can sell it with their own XML format as well so long as they disable the patented functions.


Hey, I quoted your source at http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hmeEJoOnn5akEsKGI9qA1HE-1SPQ  Last paragraph. Do you wonder if they are incorrect about this fact they may have other facts wrong as well?


Last paragraph:
Quote
The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling Word products that have the capability of opening an XML file containing custom XML.


Custom XML is apparently how Microsoft refers to those features.  (That is not in that particular article but is explained in other articles).   So Microsoft cannot ship Word products with the features that they have been calling Custom XML.  They can ship products with XML but not that particular set of features.
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Offline toasty0

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Sorry, Nem, I see it as a more complex issue than a one paragraph press release or 15 second sound bite thus my linkage. I mean no disrepeact to you with that explanation, it is just that, an explanation for my choice to use that resource.

 :drink:
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Offline toasty0

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The Microsoft Blog
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/177761.asp

Dell, HP support Microsoft in Word injunction case

Dell and Hewlett-Packard have sided with Microsoft in its appeal of a federal ruling that could prohibit the software giant from selling Word.

The computer manufacturing companies each filed on Monday an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief stating their support for Microsoft's motion to stay an injunction against Word in its current form. On Aug. 11, a Texas federal court found Microsoft willingly infringed upon a patent on processing custom XML held by a small Canadian company, i4i Inc., and also ordered Microsoft pay $240 million in damages.

"The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft," the Dell filing states. "Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on (redacted) computers sold by Dell. ...


Download Dell's amicus curiae brief (PDF)."If Microsoft is required to ship a revised version of Word in Dell's computers, a change would need to be made to Dell's (software) images. Making such a change would require extensive time- and resource-consuming re-testing."

Several sections of the companies' statements are identical.

The case is now in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., after Microsoft appealed the ruling from Judge Leonard Davis' courtroom at U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler.

Last week, Microsoft filed its motion to stay Davis' injunction, and the Court of Appeals granted Microsoft an expedited hearing set for Sept. 23.

PDF documents:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/library/20090828dellmotion.pdf
http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/library/20090828dellbrief.pdf
http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/library/20090828hpmotion.pdf
http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/library/20090828hpbrief.pdf


Also, pretty strong words by Microsoft in their appeal, in part they write: "This is not justice," states the brief. "If district courts are free to admit theories of infringement that nullify a patent's claim terms, specification, prosecution history and title; if they allow an inventor to validate his patent by testifying without corroboration that he lied about the date of conception; if they will not intercede to preclude manifestly unreliable - indeed, concededly manipulated - surveys of infringing use ... then patent litigation will be reduced to a free-for-all, unbounded by the requirements of the substantive law or the rules of evidence or trial procedure."

If this is correct I'd say Microsoft has a strong position in the appeal and will most likely prevail.
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Offline Nemesis

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From the text of the ruling:

Quote
This injunction also does not apply to any of the above actions wherein any of the Infringing and Future Word Products, upon opening an XML file, applies a custom tranform that removes all custom XML elements.


Personally I would thing that just disallowing editing of features marked with the custom XML should be enough.

Link to article

Quote
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT-Q) can continue to sell its flagship Word software in the United States pending its appeal of a patent infringement case won by a small Toronto-based technology firm, a U.S. judge has ruled.

The world's largest software company had faced an Oct. 10 deadline to redesign the software or stop selling it in the United States after a court last month awarded i4i LP $290-million (U.S.) and slapped an injunction on Microsoft for willfully infringing on the Toronto firm's technology.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington put that injunction on hold on Thursday until after the appeal, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 23.


So long as the appeal stays on the fast track I don't see a problem. 
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Offline Nemesis

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In related (Patent lawsuit vs Microsoft) news:

Link to full article

Quote
A federal appeals court on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling that Microsoft infringed on a patent owned by Alcatel-Lucent, but said the jury award of $358 million in damages was excessive.


Quote
Alcatel-Lucent argued that it was owed damages representing 8 percent of the revenue of Microsoft's sales. The jury apparently arrived at its sum based on that percentage of Microsoft's sales or the entire market value of the software products that contain the feature, the opinion said. Microsoft, meanwhile, had suggested a sum of $6.5 million. The appeals court did not suggest a method for calculating the damages, but said the amount chosen by the jury was out of proportion to the potential for infringing use.


I was under the impression that patent awards had to do with the number of units sold not the number of units used.  Especially since unless MS has the software constantly calling home with information on program usage (which of course they wouldn't do right?) no one actually knows how many people use the features covered by this.
Do unto others as Frey has done unto you.
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I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it.
 FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two."