February 10, 2006

Microsoft to Customers: Install Office Suite Updates Due to Patent Infringement

Technology patent disputes are certainly hitting home with customers this week. Per a CNET News story, "Microsoft's recent warning that customers must use an updated version of Office in new installations is likely to affect a significant number of businesses, according to a study.

The software maker said last month that as the result of a patent dispute, companies will have to use tweaked versions of Office XP and Office 2003 when they install the software on new machines."

An earlier article stated:

"Microsoft has begun e-mailing its corporate customers worldwide, letting them know that they may need to start using a different version of Office as a result of a recent legal setback.

The software maker said Monday that it has been forced to issue new versions of Office 2003 and Office XP, which change the way Microsoft's Access database interacts with its Excel spreadsheet.

The move follows a verdict last year by a jury in Orange County, Calif., which found in favor of a patent claim by Guatemalan inventor Carlos Armando Amado. Microsoft was ordered to pay $8.9 million in damages for infringing Amado's 1994 patent. That award covered sales of Office between March 1997 and July 2003."

"Although existing customers can keep using older versions on current machines, any new installations of Office 2003 will require Service Pack 2, released by Microsoft in September. Office XP will need to be put into use with a special patch applied.

Microsoft is also recommending that customers update their existing software with the new code."

Topic(s):   Legal Technology
Posted by Jeff Beard