Microsoft breathed some temporary relief as the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stayed a recently issued permanent injunction, which prohibited Microsoft from selling Word products having XML capabilities. The injunction was originally issued by a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in the i4i v. Microsoft case. The District Court’s injunction, however, was stayed yesterday in a per curiam decision from the Federal Circuit stating that “Microsoft has met its burden to obtain a stay of the injunction.” Microsoft, however, is not out of the woods yet because the stay is only provisional, meaning relief from the injunction will only continue pending a determination by the Federal Circuit of the merits of Microsoft’s appeal.

The 2006 eBay v. MercExchange case, a unanimous decision by the United States Supreme Court in which the Supreme Court vacated an injunction against eBay, will likely have a significant impact on the i4i v. Microsoft case. The appeal from the permanent injunction against Microsoft Word products having XML capabilities will be highly followed and is expected to receive an enormous amount of commentary.

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