SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it will tweak its Word application to remove a feature judged to be a breach of patent, ensuring that it will be able to continue selling one of its most widely used programs.
The world’s largest software company made the announcement shortly after a U.S. court of appeals upheld a $290 million jury verdict against it for infringing a patent held by a small Canadian software firm.
The court also affirmed an injunction that prevents Microsoft from selling versions of its Word program which contain the offending software, set to take effect January 11, 2010. Older versions of Word are not affected.
Microsoft said it is taking steps to remove the feature from Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 put on sale from that date.
The disputed patent feature relates to the use of XML, or extensible markup language, used for manipulating text, in the 2007 versions of Word. Microsoft described it on Tuesday as a “little-used feature”.
However, Microsoft did not rule out further appeals.