i4i Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp. (E.D. Tex. 2009)
Texas style, the order from Judge Davis gets right to the point:
In accordance with the Court’s contemporaneously issued memorandum opinion and order in this case, Microsoft Corporation is hereby permanently enjoined from performing the following actions with Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Word products not more than colorably different from Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 (collectively “Infringing and Future Word Products”) during the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,449:
- selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any Infringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM file (“an XML file”) containing custom XML;
- using any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;
- instructing or encouraging anyone to use any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;
- providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML; and
- testing, demonstrating, or marketing the ability of the Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file containing custom XML.
This injunction does not apply to any of the above actions wherein the Infringing and Future Word Products open an XML file as plain text.
This injunction also does not apply to any of the above actions wherein any of the Infringing and Future Word Products, upon opening an XML file, applies a custom tranform that removes all custom XML elements.
This injunction further does not apply to Microsoft providing support or assistance to anyone that describes how to use any of the infringing products to open an XML file containing custom XML if that product was licensed or sold before the date this injunction takes effect.
This injunction becomes effective 60 days from the date of this order.
In addition to the injunction, i4i was awarded $200 million in compensatory and $40 million punitive damages based on Microsoft's adjudged willful infringement.
- Read the Injunction Order: File Attachment: 20090811i4iinjunction.pdf (252 KB)
- Read the Final Judgment: File Attachment: 20090811i4ijudgment.pdf (257 KB)
- Doug Cawley and Mike McKool (McKool Smith) lead the i4i team; Matthew Powers (Weil) is lead counsel for Microsoft.
- Microsoft can presumably fix its patent problem by eliminating the .docx format. According to court records, “i4i has presented evidence that it is possible to design a software patch that can remove a user’s ability to operate the infringing functionality.” Alternatively, Microsoft could buy the patent – although the price will now be substantially higher than it was in 2007.
- Stays pending appeal: Under ther Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Microsoft has a right obtain a stay of relief pending appeal after it posts an appropriate bond. However, that right only applies to monetary damages. There is no right to stay injunctive relief pending appeal. On occasions, both District Courts and the Federal Circuit will stay injunctive relief pending the outcome of an appeal.
- Stays pending appeal: The district court has already denied Microsoft’s motion to stay injunctive relief. “The fact of Microsoft’s infringement causes i4i to suffer irreparable harm for every new XML customer that purchases an infringing Microsoft product. To stay any injunction would only prolong that harm without providing any remedy.”
- Facing OpenOffice: OpenOffice may well be liable as well. If it comes to pass, i4i’s suits against those users may focus on users because no central entity controls its development and distribution (although Sun is a potential target).
- Bilski?: i4i’s claim 14 may well fail the Federal Circuit’s Bilski machine-or-transformation test. The claim reads as follows:
A method for producing a first map of metacodes and their addresses of use in association with mapped content and stored in distinct map storage means, the method comprising:
- providing the mapped content to mapped content storage means;
- providing a menu of metacodes;
- compiling a map of the metacodes in the distinct storage means, by locating, detecting and addressing the metacodes; and
- providing the document as the content of the document and the metacode map of the document.