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Microsoft seeks another hearing in I4i case

The software maker says it will comply with Word injunction, but asks full appeals court to hear its case.

Microsoft filed another appeal Friday in its patent dispute with I4i, but also said that it will comply with the injunction against Office that is set to go into effect on Monday.

The software maker asked for either a hearing before the full appeals court or for the partial panel that heard its case to grant it a new hearing. A jury last year ruled that the custom XML feature in Office 2007 infringed on an I4i patent and a judge imposed both monetary damages and issued an injunction barring sales of Office containing the offending feature.

"Today Microsoft filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for both panel rehearing and rehearing en banc in the I4i case," Microsoft said in a statement. "The petition details significant conflicts we believe the December 22 decision creates with established precedents governing trial procedure and the determination of damages, and we are concerned that the decision weakens judges' authority to apply appropriate safeguards in future patent trials."

At the same time, Microsoft said it will comply with the injunction. The company has been shipping new versions of Office that have the custom XML feature removed.

Update: In a statement, I4i Chairman Loudon Owen said the move was anticipated.

"We continue to be confident that we will prevail," Owen said. "In the meantime, the injunction against Microsoft goes into effect in three days, on Monday January 11. We look forward to continuing to build I4i's business now that Microsoft is obligated to comply with the terms of the injunction. I4i stands ready to work with the wide range of customers that require this custom XML functionality."