And the intellectual property rollercoaster continues. Microsoft's second appeal of that $240m judgment banning sales of Word with features infringing on i4i's XML-related patents has been rejected, leaving the Redmond giant with a huge fine to pay atop its undoubtedly sky-high lawyer bills. The appeals court held that Microsoft was explicitly aware of i4i's patents before implementing the relevant XML code into Word -- undoubtedly because i4i had been selling an extremely popular XML plugin for years and had approached Microsoft about licensing it. Yeah, oops. Don't worry, though, there shouldn't be any consumer impact here: old versions of Word aren't affected, and current versions of Word 2007 and Office 2010 don't have the offending features. Still, Microsoft might be able to appeal yet again, depending on a panel ruling on the matter -- at this rate, we'd expect it.

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