Processor Magazine - The Effects of Microsoft Word's Patent Ruling

(29-Jan-10) After a long litigation period, Microsoft has stopped selling copies of its Office and Word programs with a disputed custom XML editing functionality and has issued a patch that eliminates the feature for the programs currently being used.

The move stems from a decision made on Dec. 22 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to uphold the ruling from a federal court in Texas that found Microsoft guilty of infringing on a patent held by Canadian company i4i. Microsoft reportedly plans to appeal but has taken actions to comply with the ruling in the meantime.

The XML capabilities of Word let companies import other schemas, create document maps and schemas, and create custom XML documents from the imported material. Organizations that need to automate contract generation, such as insurance and pharmaceutical companies, are typically the type of businesses that utilize this feature.

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