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Thursday, 11 March 2004


The BBC reports that the US Patent and Trademark Office has annulled Patent 5,838,906, which protects the execution of remote code embedded in hypertext pages, granted in 1998 to Eolas Techonology. The patent, which relates to the interoperability of Internet Explorer with media players, is particularly significant because it lies at the heart of the infringement action brought by Eolas against Microsoft. Last year, an Illinois court awarded Eolas $521million in infringement against Microsoft and as a result, Microsoft started to make changes to its Internet Explorer program. Now it appears that the changes may not be necessary after all, though Eolas still has 60 days to appeal the USPTO’s decision.

The IPKat says that damages paid for infringing a patent that has subsequently turned out to be invalid has been a thorny issue in the UK – see Coflexip v Stolt, blogged by the IPKat on 1 March 2004.

More controversial explorers here and here

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