WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Microsoft lost its appeal Tuesday against a lower court ruling that it had infringed the patent of small Canadian software company i4i, proving that the fight is not always to the strong.
A three-judge federal appellate panel ordered the software giant to stop sales of its popular Word word processing program in its current form on Jan. 11 and to pay i4i $290 million.
"In this case, a small company was practicing its patent, only to suffer a loss of market share, brand recognition, and customer goodwill as the result of the defendant's infringing acts," the ruling said.
I4i brought suit against Microsoft in 2007 alleging the Redmond, Wash., company had stolen code i4i created to allow users to edit XML content. I4i claimed Microsoft had turned this into a "cash cow" controlling 80 percent of the market for XML editors and forcing i4i to change its business plan.
Microsoft already had contingency plans in place should it lose the case. Versions of Word 2007 with the offending feature removed will be ready for sale by the time the injunction starts.
Microsoft said the ruling will not delay the rollout of Word 2010.