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Microsoft loses appeal; Office barred from sale after January 11

Reported by our ugly sister Engadget, it seems that Microsoft has finally lost its appeal against i4i in the long-running 'XML patent' lawsuit.

Microsoft were quick to release a statement to the press, allaying any fears that Office 2007, or 2010, will become unavailable. Office 2010, we assume, will still be released on schedule, and new versions of Office and Word 2007 without the infringing XML technology will be made available before January 11 2010. i4i, if you didn't know, is a company that specialises in database design and XML technology -- they were the ones behind the first XML plugins for Office, and it now seems that Microsoft did rip them off.
Office 2010 doesn't include the patent-infringing technology, so whether the resolution of this case will have any long-lasting effects remains to be seen. According to Reuters, Microsoft will need to pay the rather princely sum of $290 million to the patent-holders, however. Pocket change: but with enough wrist-slapping, Microsoft does seem to be slowly falling into line.

Tags: appeal, commercial, i4i, lawsuit, microsoft, patent, xml