As we expected, Microsoft has filed for a Stay of the Injunction filed against it (which would have prevented them from selling new copies of Word or Office Suite) and for an Appeal of the decision. The action will now move to Federal Court, which is more likely to give a complete look at the complicated technology issues (and less likely, unlike the Texas court, to be biased to the plaintiff).
Reading their plea sheds light on several issues:
- The PTO already has i4i's patent under review and there is some question whether it should have ever been granted. Expect prior art to be a major issue. The Texas judge refused to take this into account.
- Microsoft offers a lot of information on why it doesn't think it's infringing. A lot of this delves into the complex issues of what is "custom XML"?
- Not surprisingly, Microsoft plays the market disruption card, claiming that not only will it disrupt Microsoft's business and cause irreparable harm, but it will also harm its business partners such as Best Buy, HP, and Dell. It also points out that customers will not be able to buy a new copy of Word or Office.
I feel certain that we'll be hearing lots more in the days to come -- and fast -- Microsoft has asked that the courts decide this right away so that it does not have to waste time and resources trying to remove the potentially infringing code if they are going to be granted a Stay and an Appeal (in which case they have until the appeals process is decided, probably a year).