We've been here before - many, many times...
Remember that proposed sales injunction on Word? It broke out when Canadian software company i4i sued over a patent dispute for the way Word uses XML files (those horrible things that no-one can ever open while you convert everything back to .doc). Predictably Microsoft launched an appeal. Quite amusingly, today it turns out that appeal has surprisingly been rejected.
What that means is Microsoft has been ordered to stop sales of Word 2007 and Office 2007 across the US by 11 January unless it modifies the software to comply with the patent dispute. On the other hand Microsoft could simply settle the case, pay up and continue as normal. Consequently the company has announced:
"We have just learned that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied our appeal in the i4i case. We are moving quickly to comply with the injunction, which takes effect on January 11, 2010... and have put the wheels in motion to remove this little-used feature from these products," said Microsoft's director of public affairs Kevin Kutz in a statement. "Therefore, we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction."
This all smacks of Windows 7 E to me, which proved utterly pointless and a complete waste of time and money after it eventually agreed to an EU approved browser ballot screen. So can't we all sort this out amicably?
"While we are moving quickly to address the injunction issue, we are also considering our legal options, which could include a request for a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc or a request for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court," concluded Kutz.
I guess not then...