Feeds

Microsoft loses $521m Eolas patent appeal

Patently unfair?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft has failed to overturn a court ruling that it should pay Eolas $521m for infringing a patent in its Internet Explorer browser technology.

A federal judge yesterday denied a Microsoft motion to suspend the decision until the US Patent Office completed a re-examination into Eolas' patent 5,838,906.

Judge James Zagel wrote that the "reexamination was not reason enough to delay his decision or the appeals process and that such a delay would more significantly hurt Eolas if the patent ultimately remains valid." eWeek reports. Microsoft must now pay interest on the original award, which has already clocked up an additional $45m in costs.

Microsoft has 30 days to muster an appeal, and it says it remains "steadfast in our belief that the Eolas patent is not valid".

In response, Michael Doyle, Eolas founder, told eWeek: "If Microsoft can't read the writing on the wall now than they need a new eye doctor."

In August 2003, Microsoft was found to have infringed Eoloas patent 5,838,906 concerning a mechanism used by Web page authors to embed and automatically invoke certain interactive programs. Microsoft says that its attempt to invoke prior art before the jury was denied.

Eolas' successful assertion of this patent has caused consternation in the Web community. And in October last year, inventor of the World Wide Web and head of the W3C, Tim Berners-Lee, took the unprecedented decision to actively fight a patent case. In a letter, to the director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, James Rogan, to insist he review the awarded patent, he argued:

"Removing the improperly disruptive effect of this invalid patent is important not only for the future of the Web, but also for the past ...The practical impact of withholding unrestricted access to the patented technology from use by the Web community will be to substantially impair the usability of the Web for hundreds of millions of individuals in the United States and around the world."

Last October, Microsoft announced minor modifications to Windows and IE, in response to the Eolas case, to sidestep future royalties. In November, the US Patent Office said it would re-investigate the Eolas patent. ®

Related links

The offending patent

Berners Lee's letter

The W3C’s case against the patent

Related articles

Microsoft fined $520m for infringing patents
Microsoft tweaks IE
FTC calls for patent reform
Berners-Lee comes out fighting to save Web
US Patent Office will review Eolas claim

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.