Appeals court Stays Microsoft Word Injunction

A federal appeals court on Thursday granted the software giant a stay of an injunction that required Microsoft to stop production of Word.

On Aug. 11, a District Court in Texas handed down a $290 million judgment against the software giant and ordered the company to remove Word from the market within 60 days because it violated a patent held by i4i.

Microsoft promptly filed an appeal and requested that the injunction be delayed pending appeal. The Federal Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit agreed, and the two sides will meet again in court on September 23, PC Magazine informs.

i4i originally sued Microsoft for patent infringement in 2007.

Judge Leonard Davis, of U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, ordered Microsoft to pay $240 million in damages to i4i, plus court costs and interest. More significantly, he enjoined Microsoft from continuing to sell Microsoft Word, in its current form, in the U.S., reports InformationWeek.

According to PC World, computerworld’s Gregg Keizer, quoting from Microsoft’s emergency motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals, summarizes this dire scenario:

" 'Microsoft and its distributors (which include retailers such as Best Buy and OEMs such as HP and Dell) face the imminent possibility of a massive disruption in their sales,’ Microsoft argued in the motion. ‘If left undisturbed, the district court's injunction will inflict irreparable harm on Microsoft by potentially keeping the centerpiece of its product line out of the market for months,’ the firm's lawyers added. ‘The injunction would block not only the distribution of Word, but also of the entire Office suite, which contains Word and other popular programs.’ ”