Last year the NZOSS filed a opposition to a XML Word Processing patent filed by Microsoft. Yesterday a resolution to the opposition was achieved when the NZOSS Council decided that all our objectives had been achieved, and that the NZOSS would not be following through to a hearing.
Microsoft in their counter statement had unconditionally amended the patent in a way that avoided issues surrounding prior use and prior publication. Abiword was the primary evidence stated in the NZOSS statement of case as prior use, and it was on this basis that the NZOSS claimed that the patent was invalid. The amended patent was substantially modified, including only seven claims rather than the original number of more than twenty. The amended claims were also more specific, and would no longer create issues for software developers who wished to interoperate with Microsoft XML file formats.