Microsoft Can Keep Selling Word During Patent War

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As expected, Microsoft will be able to keep selling its Word software while it appeals a Canadian patent troll.

The company doesn’t break out Word sales, but its business division — mostly Office — represented one-third of Microsoft’s sales last fiscal year and 60% of its operating income.

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit says Microsoft Corp. can keep selling its Word desktop software as it appeals an unfavorable patent ruling.

In May, a Texas district court said some versions of Microsoft’s word processing software infringe on a Canadian technology company’s patent. The dispute is over the way Word 2003 and Word 2007 let users customise document encoding.

The Texas judge had ordered Microsoft to pay Toronto-based i4i LLP $290 million and stop selling infringing versions of Word by the middle of October.

Redmond-based Microsoft has appealed the ruling and is set to present arguments on Sept. 23.

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