I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "With all the armchair lawyers and pundits out there, it's interesting to see that i4i believes that OpenOffice does not infringe upon their patent. As you may remember, i4i's patent is the one that lead to a permanent injunction barring Microsoft from selling, using, encouraging the use of, testing, marketing or supporting any copies of Microsoft Word which can open files containing custom XML, subject to a bit of leniency for supporting infringing copies already sold and with respect to removing the feature in future versions. Lest anyone think that the ODF will win over OOXML because of this, keep in mind that Microsoft has its own broad XML document patent, which issued just two weeks ago (and filed in December 2004), and they're telling the Supreme Court to apply the Bilski ruling narrowly, so that it doesn't invalidate patents like theirs (and i4i's). After all, Microsoft can afford $280 million infringement fines in ways that most companies and individuals cannot. Then again, given that Microsoft's new patent has only two independent claims (claim #1 and claim #12), and both of those claims 'comprise' something using an 'XML file format for documents associated with an application having a rich set of features', maybe they wouldn't be that hard to work around if you just make sure any otherwise infringing format is only associated with an application that doesn't have a rich set of features."
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