August 12, 2009 �
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IN A SOMEWHAT bazaar move by an American District Court judge, Microsoft has been ordered to stop selling its Microsoft Word software, a word processing software that is one of the main components of its Microsoft Office Word 2003, 2007, and upcoming Word 2010. As a result, Microsoft Office is to be stripped off store shelves across America.
Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has issued a permanent injunction that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML", according to a statement released by attorneys for the plaintiff, i4i. Microsoft stated that it planned to appeal the verdict. i4i sued Microsoft in March 2007 that Microsoft violated its 1998 patent (No. 5,787,449) for a document system that "eliminated the need for manually embedded formatting codes".
In May 2009, a jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled in favor of i4i that the custom XML tagging of Word 2003 and Word 2007 infringed on the patent owned by i4i and ordered Microsoft to pay $200 million in compensation.
In Tuesday's ruling, Microsoft was also ordered to pay an additional $40 million for willful infringement, as well as $37 million in prejudgment interest. Microsoft must comply with the injunction within 60 days and the injunction specifically states that Microsoft must not test, demonstrate or market Word products that contain the XML feature in question.
However, seeing as though most American kids are doing school projects on Microsoft Office software, does this court ruling then create a scenario of "impossibility", for the non-performance of duties under a contract? We asked our lawyers, but it seems as if though kid's were unable to create a legal contract in the first place. All it was, was a moral contract between you and your school!