CyberTech Rambler

August 18, 2009

The damages i4i asked for are, compared to other lawsuit, mild

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:25 pm

The Industry Standard carries a post about what the judge thinks about Microsoft behaviour.

As for Microsoft, I can see it is using its good old  trick that “You asked me to fix something that is not easily fixed”. This time, the timing is bad, really bad. They touted a feature in the next office release that will allow customers to disable the custom XML capability, which the judge seized on and say the fix is not that hard. I am sure merely disabling custom XML will fall short of the complete removal required by the courts, but it does means Microsoft can disable it quickly and that disabling it will not affect Word significantly. And of course it helps to get the judge to agree that it is an good enough interim fix.

Except it appears that the judge runs out of patient with Microsoft. Finding it “wilfully infringing” i4i patents [Note: read “wilful” as the less strong word “knowingly” in everyday speak], he do not want to wait five months for a fix. Rather, he wants to light a fire underneath and did that by giving Microsoft a short time period to correctly. Perhaps he view it as part of the punishment since you ask a techie like me, five months is not an  unreasonable time to ask for.

This detour brings me back to the subject. i4i’s requested remedy is mild. They did not ask for retrospective disablement of custom XML, which they are FULLY entitled to. If they had done a lot of Microsoft customers would had been inconvenienced. It is surprising to see that a prevailing parties thinks that a monetary damage from the other party is good enough to cure past infringement when it comes to computing technology.

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