Information Week reports Microsoft has issued a patch for Office 2007 that strips the US version of Word and other Office programs of custom XML editing capabilities. Microsoft was forced to take this action after a court ruled that Word 2007 infringes on a patent held by i4i. The software giant will need to get updated versions of Word 2007 on retail shelves by January 11, 2010, and is forced to pay $290 million to i4i.
The move comes after an appeals court on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word 2007 and other Office 2007 products by Jan. 11 because the software infringes on a patent held by a Canadian company. The judge also hit Microsoft with a $290 million fine.
In ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down Microsoft's appeal of a lower court's finding that Word 2007, the most current version of the product, infringes on a patent held by Toronto-based i4i Inc.
I4i originally sued Microsoft in 2007, claiming that an XML editor built into Word steps on its patent. In August, the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas found in favor of i4i, prompting Microsoft's appeal.
The appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Texas decision.