The universe just heaved.
Any version of Microsoft Word that reads XML files will have to be pulled from the shelves within 60 days, based on a permanent injunction out of the patent litigation “rocket docket” court, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Patents give their owners the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, distributing or importing the covered invention in the United States. Here, a patent held by a company called i4i apparently covers the technology that Microsoft uses to even open .xml documents. Microsoft didn’t license the technology; they, according to the E.D. Tex., infringed the patent throughout their Office products.