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Microsoft unlikely to let Word injunction stand

Redmond has options, whether it is creating a technical workaround, appealing, or pursuing settlement talks. Likely, the company is exploring all three options right now.

The news that a judge has slapped an injunction that could bar Microsoft from selling its flagship Word software is a big deal. But don't expect to see Redmond allow one of its key money makers to be pulled from the market--even for a day.

As part of a patent infringement case that also resulted in a huge monetary judgment back in May, a federal judge in Texas this week ordered Microsoft to stop selling any versions of Word that use a custom XML tagging technology. The ruling is set to go into effect in 60 days.

That gives Microsoft two months to pursue an appeal, craft a settlement, or implement a technical workaround that removes the technology found to be infringing.

The company is definitely appealing the case, as it said in a statement on Tuesday. The appellate court has the option of holding off on the injunction, but is not compelled to, as Microsoft makes its appeal.

In any case, the one thing I would be fairly certain of is that Microsoft will do whatever it has to to keep Word on the market.

For its part, Microsoft declined to comment beyond its statement.

"We are disappointed by the court's ruling," spokesman Kevin Kutz said. "We believe the evidence clearly demonstrated that we do not infringe and that the i4i patent is invalid. We will appeal the verdict."

I'd expect that Microsoft is working in Word right now to get that appeal ready.