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Microsoft Moves Fast, Already Has Custom XML Patch for Word

Apparently, Microsoft has already created a Word workaround for the permanent injunction that was upheld yesterday by an appeals court in the patent infringement suit that i4i had brought.

As Ed Bott on ZDNet reports, OEM partners got wind of a patch via emails on Monday afternoon, which makes you think that perhaps Microsoft wasn't all that confident of its victory in the legal battle, and so took the necessary steps. Of course, the company was probably working on this from the time the injunction was first announced, just in case. As the Microsoft OEM Partner Center web site puts it:

After this patch is installed, Word will no longer read the Custom XML elements contained within DOCX, DOCM, or XML files. These files will continue to open, but any Custom XML elements will be removed. The ability to handle custom XML markup is typically used in association with automated server based processing of Word documents. Custom XML is not typically used by most end users of Word.
The patch is big -- a 12.9 MB download that fixes the 2 GB 2007 Microsoft Office OPK Master Kit. It's only required in the United States because that's where the suit was brought, which raises the question of whether i4i has patent protection in other parts of the world and whether it might start on a series of suits internationally, or just wait for Microsoft to ultimately lose in the U.S., making it more likely to settle in other countries.

Image via stock.xchng user gokoroko, site standard license.

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