Corel Software, the company that developed the old and almost forgotten word processor program WordPerfect is suing Microsoft for infringing the its patent rights because of a feature called Live Preview, present in Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
The feature allows users to preview changes to your documents before applying them. For example, the Live Preview kicks in when the user selects a text and access the drop down menu of fonts to choose from. By sliding the list of options and hover over them, the Live Preview shows the selected text with the source being pointed to by the mouse cursor, even without clicking to apply the change. The appeal, of course, save a handful of clicks.
The company, which became more famous by the Draw vector graphics software, claims that the Microsoft infringement is intentional . Among other statements, Corel’s complaint said that around 2011, Corel’s representatives have engaged in communications with Microsoft about a potential sale of these patents. That is, according to the indictment, the software giant refused to purchase but used the resources anyway.
The theories behind Corel’s claims also include Microsoft’s patent claims for quotes for some of these patents and the rejection of Microsoft’s patent applications by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, because of certain patents Corel / WordPerfect.
It is clear that the Corel strategically really want is (still) sell patents to Microsoft. WordPerfect today is nothing more than history, so there is no business reason for which Corel would need them. It is possible that Corel has a good chance of getting that Microsoft buy these patents, but before that can happen, the case will go to trial. And if Microsoft lost, the damage can be substantial.