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US Court Tells Microsoft To Stop Selling Word

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the somebody's-not-having-a-good-day dept.

Microsoft 403

oranghutan writes "A judge in a Texas court has given Microsoft 60 days to comply with an order to stop selling Word products in their existing state as the result of a patent infringement suit filed by i4i. According to the injunction, Microsoft is forbidden from selling Word products that let people create XML documents, which both the 2003 and 2007 versions let you do. Michael Cherry, an analyst quoted in the article, said, 'It's going to take a long time for this kind of thing to get sorted out.' Few believe the injunction will actually stop Word from being sold because there are ways of working around it. In early 2009, a jury in the Texas court ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $200 million for infringing on the patent. ZDNet has a look at the patent itself, saying it 'sounds a bit generic.'"

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036287)

first, possibly.

Rob Malda is a cock sucking faggot. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036485)

Slashdot, I whipped my nigger too much this morning and now he's broken! How can I fix it?

PENIS PENIS HAHAHA PENIS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036295)

my schlong is long ha ha ha ha *boiiiiiinnnnngggg*

Re:PENIS PENIS HAHAHA PENIS (-1, Offtopic)

MTO_B. (814477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036491)

my schlong is long ha ha ha ha *boiiiiiinnnnngggg*

Welcome Digg user. At this site you are invited to use the rest of your brain.

Re:PENIS PENIS HAHAHA PENIS (5, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036683)

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid your trolling simply doesn't measure up to the high standards we have here at Slashdot. You see, unlike at digg or fark, we here at Slashdot have a rich tradition of truly great trolling, and because of this we try to attract only the best and brightest of the trolling community. Our trolls have gone on to lead very rich and lucrative careers in exciting and rewarding fields such as shills for Microsoft and Comcast management. Who do you think came up with the "Word incompatibilities" and "Weird Excel Math" bugs? That's right, a former Slashdot troll!

So please, in the future put more care and thought into your trolling. Remember that you are walking the path blazed by such luminaries as the GNAA and that you stand beside such greats as the shit eater troll and the ASCII goatse guy. So in the future try to remember the greats that came before you along with your trolling peers and live up to their high standards. Maybe if you troll hard you too will join the greats and have your portrait in the trolling hall of fame!(Currently located in the mens room of the Hooters restaurant in Paramus,NJ) Thank you for your time and may you have a successful career trolling here at slashdot!

Does that mean... (3, Funny)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036305)

Does that mean the next version of Office will really be a re-branded version of Office 97?

Re:Does that mean... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036321)

more like office 2000... which might not be such a bad thing. It seems to be getting worse every version.

Re:Does that mean... (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036423)

more like office 2000... which might not be such a bad thing. It seems to be getting worse every version.

Maybe not. Office 2000 Word files use XML [devx.com] :

Office uses XML in a very specific wayâ"to structure the non-viewable contents of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files. It has developed a set of tags and a data schema that defines the Office 2000 document set, much as you or I might create a set of tags and data schema for our "Flying Widget documentation set" or our inventory of tropical fish.

Whether or not that's within scope is unclear.

Re:Does that mean... (2, Funny)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036595)

I wish more patent trolls troll the software troll

Re:Does that mean... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037007)

Well, I never I said I agreed with the patent trolls i4i. A patent on anything that touches a custom XML word processing file is just completely borked.

Re:Does that mean... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036333)

Yes, it's called Open Office.

Re:Does that mean... (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036417)

OpenOffice uses XML files by default, the format is openly-documented so anyone can use it, but it's XML. So, assuming i2i's patent is held up, how long before the OpenOffice injunction starts?

Microsoft can simply release a patch that forces Word back to the old proprietary DOC format they've been using variants of since Word 1.0. OpenOffice would have to make up a new document format, if i2i decided to continue their pursuit.

And if there's one thing we've learned about scum-sucking patent trollers, it's that they'll root and root for every penny they can, and don't really care about the damage they do.

Re:Does that mean... (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036939)

Open Office does have a legacy format not based on the ODF.

Re:Does that mean... (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037075)

But I'm pretty sure the original StarOffice documents were still based on XML.

Re:Does that mean... (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037101)

So the patent troll could put a halt to OpenOffice being sold, but what about the free download version? There's no money being made there, is there? It's just straight cost for the servers and bandwidth, right? Are they going to threaten to take the profits from that?!?

Re:Does that mean... (1, Insightful)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036463)

I actually like Open Office more then Office 2007, it doesn't have that rotten ribbon that makes it a pain in the backside to find things. Sadly my job is set around Office 2003 going to Office 2007.

Re:Does that mean... (2, Informative)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036497)

If you hunt around you can get a free RibbonCustomizer(TM) from somewhere or other that adds a new ribbon that looks like the old interface - should save you some pain.

Google gives me this [pschmid.net] .

I'm getting to like the new ribbons, but sometimes the location of a function seems a tad obscure....

Re:Does that mean... (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036845)

I enjoy the Ribbon in Outlook, but thats it.

Sometimes, trying to find Word Count and a couple other obscure functions is like trying to find a needle in a haystack...

Re:Does that mean... (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036887)

Isn't the word count (in Word 2k7, at least) automatically provided in the bottom left of the window?

Re:Does that mean... (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037107)

Yup. And when you're sitting there for hours and trying to explain to someone that its no longer in the menu, but at the bottom and they need to double click it.....oh shit they just can't follow you.

Brought to you by the people that access the internet by "Clicking on the Big E" and "require assistance copying files to a new folder" for the nth time.

Stockholm Syndrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036877)

I'm getting to like the new ribbons, but sometimes the location of a function seems a tad obscure....

The ribbon bar is pure evil. You comments about 'starting to like the ribbons' reminds me of the psychological phenomenon called the Stockholm Syndrome (with Microsoft being the captors).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

Re:Stockholm Syndrome? (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037061)

I'd probably have more antipathy if I paid full price for the package (yes, I know OOo is free, but the VBA support in it is negligible, and I like (correction - am used to) using this to get stuff done).

Re:Does that mean... (3, Funny)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036879)

I'm getting to like the new ribbons, but sometimes the location of a function seems a tad obscure....

So, instead of finding function X in obscure location Y, now you instead have to find it in obscure location Z? ;-)

I'm sad you had to hear it this way (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036533)

I actually like Open Office more then Office 2007, it doesn't have that rotten ribbon that makes it a pain in the backside to find things.

Preview the Office 2007 Ribbon-Like UI Floated For OpenOffice.Org [slashdot.org]

Re:I'm sad you had to hear it this way (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036973)

Suuuuunnnnnnn!!!!! [youtube.com] .

Re:Does that mean... (4, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036361)

No, they'll probably have Office Texas 2009, which is like Office 2007, except that it has the XML stuff cut out, and a new language code added: en_TX

Re:Does that mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036657)

Not really. Think of European versions of Windows like Windows XP N. We could see Office 2009 TX or something like that.

Re:Does that mean... (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036861)

wooooooooo0000000000000sssssssssssjokessssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Live by sword... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036309)

... die by sword.

Re:Live by sword... (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036355)

Microsoft's many things, but they're never a patent troll, so I'm not sure what you mean there beyond simple schadenfreude.

Re:Live by sword... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036419)

Yeah, they just use FUD and the threat of patents to try to scare people away from using Linux.

Re:Live by sword... (3, Informative)

aoteoroa (596031) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036547)

Did we forget about their suit against TomTom for the questionable FAT patent [groklaw.net] already?

Re:Live by sword... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036823)

No, but that hardly counts because it was TomTom that was the one trolling there, and Microsoft reacted defensively. That was well documented in every Slashdot discussion related to it, but it seems to have been totally forgotten (or deliberately overlooked) by many people in subsequent discussions, with Microsoft coming out as looking like the attacking party.

Re:Live by sword... (5, Informative)

gabebear (251933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036619)

Bill Gate's quote on the subject:
"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. I feel certain that some large company will patent some obvious thing related to interface, object orientation, algorithm, application extension or other crucial technique. If we assume this company has no need of any of our patents then they have a 17-year right to take as much of our profits as they want. The solution to this is patent exchanges with large companies and patenting as much as we can. "

taken from the 1991 memo at http://www.std.com/obi/Bill.Gates/Challenges.and.Strategy [std.com]

Gates knows software patents are bad for the industry, but Microsoft still lobbys for software patent laws in many countries. They will win in the EU soon...

Re:Live by sword... (1)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036793)

Bill Gate's quote on the subject: "The solution to this is patent exchanges with large companies and patenting as much as we can." taken from the 1991 memo at http://www.std.com/obi/Bill.Gates/Challenges.and.Strategy [std.com]

This isn't a solution, it's a self-centered kludge. A solution might have been to lobby strenuously for the abolition of software techniques or for the reform of how they are granted in the U.S.

Note also that the word "solution" (what Microsoft is in the business of selling) appears exactly twice in that memo. The other mention is about TrueType fonts - a solution developed by another company and presumably used through the grace of a patent exchange.

Re:Live by sword... (1)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036843)

I said: This isn't a solution, it's a self-centered kludge. A solution might have been to lobby strenuously for the abolition of software techniques or for the reform of how they are granted in the U.S.

Make that "abolition of patents on software techniques", although eliminating software entirely might be a more elegant solution...

Re:Live by sword... (3, Interesting)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036695)

Microsoft's many things, but they're never a patent troll, so I'm not sure what you mean there beyond simple schadenfreude.

Look, it's a matter of trust. These silly patents obviously hold water so it's not a matter of "can" or "can't". I don't trust any corporation, not because I'm paranoid but because the whole point of trading is to gain as much profit as possible. All businesses, especially larger corporations, have one goal and that is profit. If Microsoft finds itself in a difficult position (obviously not today, but perhaps about in 10 or 20 years), you can be damn sure that they will do anything in order to regain profit. You can't blame a corporation for having this ultimate goal, it's their end purpose. But it doesn't mean you should trust them, or even encourage them. I myself work within a corporation, and anybody who has ever worked in business management knows these very simple rules of business. Morals are shit, cash is king.

If you ask me any patent holder is a potential troll. Sure they're all nice and friendly when things are going well, but when the shit hits the fan the tables will turn, it's that or bankruptcy (e.g. SCO). So you see it's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". Again I'm not blaming anybody and I would have done the same thing, as would any person who knows the first thing about business. But I'm not [currently] in that position, I'm on the other end, the consumer end, so naturally I have different motives. My question to you is, in what way do you, as a consumer, benefit from their patents? Don't say lower prices because we both know that's complete and utter bullshit, at least not in MS position. So you see there are none. Then what is your motive? Is it because you enjoy their products? Well there's no shame in that, but why side with the seller? If you enjoy the product you naturally want it, and by the fundamental goals of trading you want it for as little cost as possible. In order to get this you have to show your sceptism. Is the price really fair? Are the terms fair? Am I bound to anything which will make it difficult or expense when something better and cheaper comes along? If you don't trust them they will eventually meet you in the middle (not necessarily you as an individual, this applies to groups and audiences as well, but with even more effect), as long as there's some profit for them. Naturally any business must generate profit, but for your sake it should be as low as possible. Why else would MS want to lower prices or improve terms and products? To keep you as a customer? They do that simply by gaining your trust, which you've already given away.

So next time you think: "would a business do that for profit?" you should first ask yourself:

A) Is it legal?
B) Would it mean profit? (In this example it would perhaps not mean profit today, but remember that patents are valid much longer than one day)

If the answer is yes to both questions then the answer to your questions would be the same. That's how business works my friend.

Re:Live by sword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036821)

As you and me both know, the grand parent was referring to the IP* racket M$ is a huge champion of.

Cut the act, honey.

*imaginary property

Re:Live by sword... (2, Informative)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036385)

And then people wonder why some fear OOXML [grokdoc.net] .

"sounds a bit generic" (5, Insightful)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036325)

A statement that could be applied to more or less all software patents I've seen so far.....

Re:"sounds a bit generic" (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036513)

It's like patenting the ingredients in making a soup. :-(

Re:"sounds a bit generic" (2, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036527)

Speaking of software patents, didn't Microsoft just _get_ one for saving a word processing document as an XML file?

So how are they violating a patent on something they own a patent for?

Or is this just another example of how the USPTO is horrendously screwed up?

Re:"sounds a bit generic" (3, Insightful)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036617)

"Or is this just another example of how the USPTO is horrendously screwed up?"

USPTO is an important instance, but patents on software, music lyrics, book texts, movie scripts, pie recipe and countless other things do not belong there IMHO

Re:"sounds a bit generic" (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036873)

Speaking of software patents, didn't Microsoft just _get_ one for saving a word processing document as an XML file?

So how are they violating a patent on something they own a patent for?

Or is this just another example of how the USPTO is horrendously screwed up?

No, its another example of someone on Slashdot taking a very specific patent application (formatting hints being saved in an XML document for non-generic elements) and assuming that it applies to everything and anything related to that area (xml based documents). This happens with pretty much every patent discussion on Slashdot, especially where someone just assumes they can think up prior art based on the story summary or title, rather than actually answering the patented points.

Microsofts patent and this patent do not cover the same thing.

Its going everywhere! (0, Offtopic)

Heytunk (1559837) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036327)

The brown just hit the fan.

Re:Its going everywhere! (0, Offtopic)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036919)

That's UPS.

Microsoft's fan is covered in Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow shit.

Eastren Tx strikes again (4, Insightful)

isfry (101853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036353)

I seem to remember that this is where patent trolls are born. Wonder what they did to make this judge unhappy.

Re:Eastren Tx strikes again (2, Interesting)

itsthebin (725864) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036465)

part of the deal to file these patent suits should be having to go and live in that county - then they can be happy together in their own little alternate reality.

Long live Eastern Tx (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037019)

IMHO it is lovely when patent trolls hit country sized companies who themselves lobby against any change in patent system.

Imagine if MS, IBM, Sun, Apple, SAP sized companies and FSF, Redhat kind of open companies&orgs gathered in a conference, use decades of their expertise to fix the patent system and provide suggestions to US Congress. Wouldn't they be taken serious?

They are looking for the problem themselves.

this makes no sense (0, Redundant)

moonmaster9000 (1616865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036377)

exactly what did MS do? i mean i am pissed that they spurned the open document (xml) format and created their own separate open xml format... but exactly how did they violate the law by reading and writing xml documents? does this mean that all applications that read and write XML documents are violating a patent? WTF?

Re:this makes no sense (3, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036583)

The enemy of your enemy is your friend.

... unless they're both enemies, and they're really big, then you just stand back and be happy that they're not fighting you.

Re:this makes no sense (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036679)

The patent is on an editor capable of manipulating Architecture (Presentation) of a document and its content separately.

An HTML editor that supports manipulating HTML and CSS separately would be a blatant violation.

Re:this makes no sense (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036925)

To be clear: not just any HTML editor. WYSIWYG editors that:

  1. Load document structure
  2. Load presentation structure (from CSS and other files)
  3. Map the structure and presentation to objects
  4. Allow you to manipulate objects.
  5. When you save the document: Map your changes back to both forms: architecture and structure

So for instance, editors that display what is architecturally the title of the document, allow you to right click, and change form elements.

This is nuts. (4, Interesting)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036395)

Even if you're not a Microsoft fan, you have to admit this is pretty frapped up.

According to the ZDNet article, Microsoft owns a patent on XML in word processor documents, but i4i owns the patent for "anything that touches custom XML formatting" in said documents.

The way i4i's patent sounds, this would also affect other things like OpenOffice.org and anything else that uses XML formatted documents. That's like, the entire current generation of word processors, isn't it?

I'm starting to wonder if patent lawyers can pick and choose who grants their patents from the Patent Office (they pick the non-tech literate ones) like they do with the courts when they sue over patent infringement (e.g. most patent cases are from east Texas).

-JJS

Re:This is nuts. (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036471)

When I read the headline, I assumed that it was some over-zealous health-and-safety ruling based on the brain damage that Word appears to cause (although it's less guilty of this than PowerPoint). I was quite disappointed to learn it was just another patent troll.

Re:This is nuts. (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036523)

The way i4i's patent sounds, this would also affect other things like OpenOffice.org and anything else that uses XML formatted documents. That's like, the entire current generation of word processors, isn't it?

That's also how I interpreted it, and also that they're going after MS rather than OO.o for the money. It's a patent troll in my book. :-(

Re:This is nuts. (4, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036765)

To be honest, the way I understand it is that every piece of software that produces an XML stream is infringe this patent. Think every piece of webservice and XML processing out there. I'd say that pretty much every piece of software out there infringes on this.

Re:This is nuts. (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036903)

And, god forbid, if they won this MS would just be the first of many companies they would go after--including Sun.

Re:This is nuts. (5, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036529)

And people wonder why big companies like Microsoft, IBM and others are in a constant race to patent everything.

Re:This is nuts. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036559)

From the looks of it, i4i has patented what XML was created for.

It's like waiting for MPEG to create a new MPEG5 spec, then patenting "using MPEG5 to encode movies". Hope I didn't give some texan an idea here.

Re:This is nuts. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037045)

Except that all the MPEG specs do contain many patented aspects. Which is the whole drive behind projects like Theora [theora.org] .

Re:This is nuts. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036569)

I'm far from a Microsoft fan, and almost always choose other companies' software when possible because I just don't like their design philosophy. I prefer Word Perfect to word; WP's "reveal codes" is something sorely lacking in Word (we have both installed at work).

But I agree, for once I'm on Microsoft's side (snowfights in hell?). Even if they could stop sales of Word in one state and not another, I wonder how much it would cost MS? I'm thinking this will hurt Texans more than anyone else.

I can't imagine this not being appealed. I don't see how the Commerce Clause of the Constitution allows a judge to disallow sale of a product in a single state.

I wish there were more comments in this thread, I'd love to see a lawyer chime in. Is there a lawyer in the house?

Maybe XML itself is doomed. Maybe if we just renamed XML to something else?

Re:This is nuts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036687)

I'm a lawyer and I'm going to sue you for using plain text in comments on an Internet website - our organization patented that a long time ago.

Re:This is nuts. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036715)

According to this article on DailyTech [dailytech.com] , it says that they are banned from selling MS Word across the entire US. I'm pretty sure you can still buy it, but how long until it gets taken off the shelves.

Re:This is nuts. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036593)

The way i4i's patent sounds, this would also affect other things like OpenOffice.org and anything else that uses XML formatted documents.

Damnit! Now I have to stop selling OpenOffice.org !

Re:This is nuts. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036627)

If you stop and think about it, it probably covers XHTML+CSS also.

Re:This is nuts. (0, Offtopic)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036669)

So if I decide to write specially crafted xml with my own special tags (like I have done countless numerous times to bypass limitations within .NET framework) I could get sued because I added something that was not standard....F*CK THAT! I am thinking of a word, and someone holds that patent on the word, so each time I speak this word out loud, I am encroaching on a patent....this is seriously f*cked up!!!

Forget singing along to your favorite song, you might owe money!

Re:This is nuts. (-1, Offtopic)

polle404 (727386) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036691)

well, since copyright infringement of 1 song is rated at 22.000,- usd, 200m. usd,- doesn't sound too far off?

I wonder if east Texas has a lot of bridges?
you know, the common habitat of (patent)trolls?

Re:This is nuts. (1)

BenihanaX (1405543) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036779)

Even if you're not a Microsoft fan, you have to admit this is pretty frapped up.

Blended smooth with ice or inefficiently captured as a video file?

Re:This is nuts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036913)

how can you patent a damn open standard that is by it's very nature customizable?

taken to it's logical conclusion - you can't even use a simple text editor to create 'custom' xml -

what a load

So is OOXML then no longer an 'open standard'? (4, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036405)

Remember, Microsoft pushed 'Custom XML' as a key distinguishing feature of OOXML during the fight to get it approved in ISO. 'Custom XML' was the reason (according to them) why ODF was not sufficient, feature-wise. IANAL, but if Microsoft cannot implement "Custom XML" without licensing this patent from i4i for a quarter of a billion dollars, then doesn't this likely mean that no one else is free to use "custom XML" either? Ergo, OOXML is not an open standard.

Re:So is OOXML then no longer an 'open standard'? (2, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036507)

Well if this means that those in the USA start to be unable to do what the rest of the world does, to not compete and thus loose market share ... then this may be good: it might lead to having these stupid laws changed.

It will be a tough way to do it, but I can't see any other that might work.

Will this affect Office Mac 2008? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036421)

and what are the implications for OpenOffice.org should the patent be upheld?

CSS also violates that patent (2, Interesting)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036477)

Aside from XML, doesn't CSS violate this ridiculous patent?

But MS Holds the Patent on Using XML for Docs! (5, Interesting)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036479)

The circle of life:

According to This Patent [slashdot.org] , they invented having the XML hold the word processing info... It's just too bad that they didn't invent a way to write the xml file itself.

So, in the current US situation, no one can create an xml word processing document, as you can't write the xml, but even if you could, you aren't allowed to store the font and page number in the file.

This is beyond ridiculous

But Microsoft doesn't sell Word in Texas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036483)

... all of the MS resellers and OEMs sell Word in Texas.

Sigh. What is it about judges in Texas?

Contact i4i (3, Informative)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036493)

Contact them [i4i.com] and express your hatred.

Re:Contact i4i (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036707)

troll free number : 1- 866.526.3536

Re:Contact i4i (1)

moonmaster9000 (1616865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036711)

awesome.

Why hasn't change come yet? (5, Insightful)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036545)

Lately it seems that the big companies are getting affected by patent trolls more than the little guys (they have more money). And the big corps have enough political clout to push through patent reform laws. So if they are getting hammered like this, why aren't they lobbying for patent reform? Are they just not getting hit hard enough?

Re:Why hasn't change come yet? (2, Interesting)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037067)

My guess is that they risk losing more licensing fees through patent reform than they lose to the legal process of fighting the trolls. In other words, if patent reform went through, they could stand to lose more than they gain.

It may not be true for all, but it likely will be true for some, and if those "some" have the cash to support lobbying efforts...

Good and bad at the same time... (1, Troll)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036565)

I am glad that the courts are being stern enough to enforce their ruling, anyone not following through on a verdict should
be held accountable, that being said, I do feel very bad for M$, as the amount given for the fine is way outrageous seeing as the XML format is an open source format, and belongs to the people anyways.

The judge was misguided when he came up with a number, and I am sure needed a new courtroom, with maybe some new staff and decided that M$ should foot his bill. No IT personnel in their right mind would have come up with this number! I would like to see the breakdown of how he came up with this number, and I can also see why M$ has not given any money yet.

To be fair, even if M$ was not in the past, and M$ is the most evil doer out there, I think this is bigger then M$ itself, in that it sets a precedent, and like all things American, this is way out of hand, and has been blown way out of proportion. Only in the US can someone burn themselves stupidly with coffee, and blame McDonalds for giving them coffee that hot....I know 0 people who drink their coffee lukewarm...

O'Reilly "Learning XML Patents"? (4, Funny)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036587)

So when does the O'Reilly "Learning XML Patents" book hit the shelves and what animal will grace the cover?

The animal will be some sort of pond life (3, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036653)

To represent patent lawyers everywhere.

If they have a sense of humour & irony (2, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036931)

It will be the Dodo.
Here's hoping that software patents become as dead as the Dodo.

The patent office will eat itself (1)

pancakegeels (673199) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036671)

If the patent office remains the shambles it is now, eventually there will be no such thing as an exercisable patent. Given that any patent will immediately be usurped by Chinese entrepreneurs, the patent office practically only penalises companies in the U.S. Add to that the business of patenting "scratching your ass", is worth shy of $300 million, I can't see any remedy.

Would anybody miss East Texas? (1, Funny)

HopeOS (74340) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036713)

I'm just saying... if you cannot use your court for justice, perhaps you should not have one at all. Perhaps the gentle folk of East Texas could then reflect on the role of their humble district as it relates to the rest of the country in comparison to their perceived need for a local court system. -Hope

Actually having read the patent (5, Informative)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036745)

At first I thought this was BS... the way they're describing this patent (in the articles about it) makes it sound like i4i's patent basically applies to any markup language (XML, SGML, HTML, etc). It does not. What they have a patent on is using a map to locate the tags, so that tags don't interfere with document content. If MS is doing this, it isn't part of standard XML, AFAIK.

Let me say it again: This patent isn't about XML, SGML, CSS, etc. It's pretty specific, and, if Microsoft is actually violating it, it's because of what they're doing differently, not because they're using XML.

All that said, IANAL, so there may well be something important I missed.

Again? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036805)

The season to hunt patentrolls is now officially open, any weapon is usable (bonus points to weapons like swords, forks and claws)

Yup, that's an infringement y'all... (4, Insightful)

Burgundy Advocate (313960) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036867)

Anyone else stop reading after they saw "a judge in a Texas court"? I'm not a Microsoft fan, but this is getting ridiculous.

Tough call (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036901)

Who is the bad guy here? It seems as though Microsoft has been hoisted on their own petard. Maybe this will help MS to wake up and become a leader in patent reform, or hopefully they will appeal and win leading to an invalidation of software patents. Software patents just seem to be bad news all around.

Re:Tough call (1, Interesting)

gingerjoos (1014051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037083)

Or maybe MS will patent the patent office. That way the patent office can no longer issue patents. So that invalidates pretty much every patent. Including the MS patent which patented the patent office. But if that gets invalidated..

For those that are happy... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#29036975)

For those that are all happy and "Yay, MSFT got screwed!" I would suggest looking at this picture [zdnet.com] explaining the patent in question and seriously think about it. From the looks of it this patent is so vague pretty much ANYTHING that uses the XML format to manipulate data in any way would could possibly be looking at a lawsuit, should this patent troll decide they are a potential cash cow. This includes OO.o. How many FLOSS applications use XML in some way? Because they have all just been put at risk until this patent is either invalidated or their ability to use XML is removed.

If this is held up then XML looks to be a dead format, and least here in the USA. The patent is just too vague to make it worth the risk, and this includes OO.o ODF which IIRC uses XML as well. If this isn't proof that software patents need to be thrown in a fire I don't know what is. If this stands it doesn't matter how many patents one has, or how much work one puts into making a new format, as all it will take is a patent troll playing "buzzword bingo" and getting a broad enough patent to kill any format dead.

i can laugh harder :D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29036987)

turns out that, not only in china, software patents are a source of entertainment...

Stupid Americans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29037025)

You guys collapsed your economy; sub prime etc. How is patents which clearly add no value to anyone except the trolls contributing to the US economy ? Wake up ! The only way to make money in a sustainable manner, is plain old fashioned work. Something Americans seem to have forgotten a long time ago; which is why the US is starting to eat the dust of countries like China and India. Very sad.

Not a "Texas Court", a US Court (5, Informative)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 5 years ago | (#29037047)

Just to clarify, becasue the lede is quite misleading: this is not a "Texas court". State courts (e.g., the courts of Texas) do not handle patent infringement disputes or remedies. This is a Federal court located in Texas. The scope of the injunction is therefore nationwide. The fact that it's in Texas is a red herring -- its only significance is that this particular Federal Court (EDTx) has a history of being extremely friendly to patent holders.

Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29037093)

Good Luck With That
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