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LOSS IN COURT: A federal appeals court ordered Microsoft Corp. to pay a Canadian software company $290 million for violating a patent, upholding the decision of a lower court.

WHAT IT MEANS: Beginning Jan. 11, Microsoft has to stop selling versions of Microsoft Word that infringe on the patent. Microsoft says it will offer a new version with the computer code in question removed. Copies of Word sold before Jan. 11 aren't affected by the court's decision.

THE REACTION: Microsoft investors weren't fazed, and its stock moved higher. But Loudon Owen, the chairman of Toronto-based i4i Inc., which had sued Microsoft over the patent, called the decision "a vindication for i4i and a war cry for talented inventors whose patents are infringed."

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