Microsoft permitted to continue Word sales for now

Microsoft Word fans across the world can rejoice and breathe a sigh of relief today as Microsoft has won a temporary stay, allowing Word sales to continue.

In August 2009, a judge ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word, its flagship word processing software and one of the main components of the Microsoft Office System. i4i sued Microsoft in March 2007 claiming that Microsoft violated its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) for a document system that "eliminated the need for manually embedded formatting codes." I4i Chairman Loudon Owen said last month that he would like to see a version of Word come out without the technology in question. "The injunction is not saying there is no more Word for the world," Owen said. "That is not our intention and that would not be a sensible remedy."

The latest ruling means Microsoft can carry on selling Word until the appeal process is complete. "We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on Sept. 23," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz said.

According to CNET news, i4i Chairman Loudon Owen said in a statement following the ruling: "Microsoft's scare tactics about the consequences of the injunction cannot shield it from the imminent review of the case by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal on the September 23 appeal. i4i is confident that the final judgment in favor of i4i, which included a finding of willful patent infringement by Microsoft and an injunction against Microsoft Word, was the correct decision and that i4i will prevail on the appeal."

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