Friday, August 14, 2009

Judge: Microsoft Banned from Selling Word in the US

by Pete Cashmore

Welcome to the world of surprising patent lawsuits. A Texas judge ruled Tuesday that Microsoft cannot sell Word – yes, Microsoft Word, the cornerstone of Microsoft Office – in the United States.

Toronto-based i4i Inc won an injunction against Microsoft regarding the company’s XML patents. In the words of i4i, the injunction “prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML”. Microsoft has been given 60 days to comply, reports Seattle PI.

The injunction reads:

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:

1. 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;

2. using any Infringing and Future Word Products to open an XML file
containing custom XML;

3. instructing or encouraging anyone to use any Infringing and Future Word
Products to open an XML file containing custom XML;

4. 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;


5. 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.

Needless to say, Microsoft won’t pull Word off the market. The company has said it plans to appeal, and i4i actually sells XML products for Word, making that company reliant on the ecosystem. An agreement will be reached: probably one involving Microsoft signing a big check.

Original here

Apple, AT&T sued for lack of MMS capability

By Mike Magee

A class action started in a Louisana district court alleging that Apple and AT&T touted the iPhone as supporting MMS (multimedia messaging service) but have not as yet provided the service.

The plaintiffs allege that Apple "advertised heavily that the new version of iPhone, the 3G, as well as the even newer version the 3G-S would allow MMS. Apple's print and video advertisements in and on television, the internet, the radio, newspapers and direct mailers all touted the availability of MMS." AT&T advertised the same functionality, the filing says.

But since the launch, in the USA, such functionality is not yet available. The court filing says the AT&T Answer Center page said: "Customers who are sent a MMS message and own a non-MMS capable device will receive a text message instead of an actual MMS message."

But, the filing alleges: "AT&T is not a carrier which offers MMS! Of course, AT&T is the only carrier in the United States used by the iPhone. In other words, AT&T's towers do not support MMS."

Apple, says the filings, has revealed that AT&T has never upgraded its towers so as to support MMS functionality. "The only excuse offered by AT&T and Apple is a mouseprint disclaimer on the website, in barely readable font, which reads 'MMS Support from AT&T coming in late summer'".

The class action suit alleges the Louisana suit will consist of at least 10,000 individuals. The action is brought both under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and other Louisiana civil codes.

Original here