The world of technology isn’t all about sexy product launches; beneath the sleek surface lies a bumpy core. That core is comprised of the technicalities of R&D, lawsuits upon counter-suits, all over precious patents. And, for the moment, it is Microsoft that is feeling the heat.
In the state of Utah, Corel Software has opted to sue Redmond, claiming patent infringement over the use of the ‘Live Preview’ in certain Microsoft Office applications, particularly those for Android. The firm alleges that the feature is a willful copy of its ‘RealTime preview’ feature, used in its ‘WordPerfect’ software. It even goes so far to say that, in 2011, Microsoft was interested in buying a certain few of its patents, including several of the patents in suit.
As reported on Foss Patents, it appears that, as ever, the true reasons behind this move are a little more complicated than they may at first appear. ‘WordPerfect’, when compared to the likes of Word, is a minnow, forgotten. And in the past, Corel Software has been vigorous in defending its patents, taking legal actions against the likes of Google for alleged slights. It is speculated by Foss that Corel is likely looking to sell the patents in question to Microsoft, and is using the suit as a means by which to guarantee both fast action and a degree of clemency in the whole process, sealing the deal once and for all.
If one thing is clear, it is that Corel Software has clearly thought out the process. If Microsoft loses, it would face large charges and a great deal of negative press; simply purchasing an easy solution to the problem at hand, when weighed up against such an option, would suddenly become a lot more attractive, but would also encourage others to do the same. Redmond is in a sticky wicket, and it will be interesting to see how things progress.
How do you think Microsoft should act in this instance? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: Microsoft, Office