Microsoft To Remove i4i-Owned Feature From Word 2007
i4i had a patent on some XML inner-workings, which Word evidently uses freely. Naturally, i4i isn't too pleased with this. Imagine all of the copies of Word sold, and how much loot would come from having a small royalty attached to each one. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why i4i is fighting so hard to get what it is apparently due. Just before Christmas, Microsoft has now lost its appeal, as the $290 million jury verdict was upheld for the infringing of patents. The court also confirmed an injunction that would prevent the world's largest software maker from selling a few versions of Word which contain the i4i code, though this would only start on January 11, 2010.
It should be noted that older versions of the software are not affected or included in this, and as you may expect, the team in Redmond is actively working to remove the i4i feature(s) from Word 2007 and Office 2007 packages. Meanwhile, the company is also considering another appeal, which could "include a request for a rehearing by a full panel of judges at the appeals court, or a request for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court." In case you're wondering, Word 2010 and Office 2010 don't feature this software, and while Microsoft calls it a "little-used feature," even something "little" can obviously cost you quite a lot.
Goliath, meet David.