updated 05:10 pm EDT, Thu August 27, 2009
Dell, HP join Word fight
PC makers Dell and HP have joined Microsoft in its fight against i4i, a Canadian software developer that was responsible for an injunction of sales of the Microsoft Word. Dell and HP are among Microsoft's biggest customers, and are helping Microsoft to overturn the injunction in front of an Eastern District Court of Texas judge. In a brief that was joined by HP, Dell asked the judge to reconsider its order or at least delay the injunction by 120 days. The injunction is scheduled to take place in mid-October.
"The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft," Dell and HP wrote in their brief, which had some information redacted from its public version. "Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell."
This missing information apparently includes how the injunction affects Dell monetarily, how it would need to restructure its products if the block is maintained and how quickly it can respond to comply with the injunction.
The judge ruled that Microsoft must pay a $290 million fine and blocked it from selling Word on August 12th, as a result of infringing on some i4i patents. Microsoft promptly filed a motion indicating it would appeal the verdict. An appeal hearing is scheduled for September 23rd.
The patent dispute involves technology relating to custom XML files. The block order relates to Word 2003 and Word 2007 in their current forms, though if Microsoft patches the software to disable functions that contain the i4i patents, it can continue to sell the software. [via PCMag]