Microsoft pulls Office from own online store as 'sales ban' begins

 @ibtimes
on January 11 2010 3:15 PM

Microsoft Corp. has pulled almost every version of Office from its own online store in compliance with a court order after a patent dispute with Canadian firm i4i.

As of mid-day today, the only edition available from the Microsoft Store was Office Ultimate 2007, a $670 full-version suite.

On its official site, all other Windows editions including Office 2008 for Mac, were accompanied by the message: This product is currently unavailable while we update versions on our site. We expect it to be available soon.

The injunction, which was first ordered by a Texas federal judge in August 2009 and then affirmed by an appeals court late last month, bans Microsoft from selling Word 2003 and Word 2007 as of today unless it dumps custom XML features from the software.

Microsoft said that it had complied with the court's ruling and would now offer revised software in the US. As part of the court ruling, Microsoft must also pay i4i damages of $290 million.

We've taken steps to comply with the court's ruling and we're introducing the revised software into the U.S. market, said Michael Croan, a senior marketing manager, in a statement.

This process will be imperceptible to the vast majority of customers, who will find both trial and purchase options readily available, he added.

However, Microsoft said last Friday that it had filed another appeal against the injunction. The firm wants a panel of 11 judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to review the case in the hope of overturning the original judgment.

Microsoft has already challenged the ruling once. But in December last year, a panel of three judges rejected its arguments and upheld the original decision of a Texas court that ruled that Microsoft had infringed a patent belonging to i4i.

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