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September 29, 2005

Microsoft loses in Eolas patent ruling

Posted by David Hunter at 4:04 PM ET.

Ina Fried at CNET:

In a decision made public on Wednesday, the patent office upheld the validity of a patent held by the University of California and its Eolas Technology spinoff. In 2003, a jury awarded more than $500 million in damages to the university and Eolas, but an appeals court this year partially upheld Microsoft’s appeal, saying the company should be able to present evidence that there were similar inventions that predated Eolas’ patent application.

A University of California spokesman said Thursday that the patent office’s ruling essentially says that the earlier work should not invalidate the Eolas patent.

Eolas and the university filed suit against Microsoft in 1999, alleging that the way Microsoft’s Internet Explorer uses plug-ins and applets infringes on an early 1990s patent.

UPDATE: Joe Wilcox has some analysis.

Filed under Legal, Patents

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2 Responses to “Microsoft loses in Eolas patent ruling”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Blog Archive » The Supremes won’t review Eolas case Says:

    [...] I previously mentioned this case in September.   [Permalink] [...]

  2. Microsoft, Autodesk hit in patent judgement -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The biggest patent loss was in the Eolas patent suit for which Microsoft just shipped an Internet Explorer patch to avoid further liability. As far as this verdict goes: The Z4 verdict continued a pattern of victories in East Texas federal courts for patent owners claiming infringement. [...]

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