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Microsoft Appeal Against Eolas Ruling To Be Heard This Week

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

08 December 2004


Microsoft's appeal against a ruling delivered last year which stated that it improperly used patented intellectual property owned by Eolas Technologies and the University of California is set to commence on Thursday.

The jury verdict, upheld by Judge James Zagel in January, ordered the software giant to pay out $520.6 million in damages over its infringement of Eolas' patent, which allows internet users to access "plug in" applications embedded in web pages.

Following pressure from the software industry, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) agreed to re-examine the patent and rejected it in March, a decision which is currently being appealed.

However, Microsoft reportedly plans to make use of the 'prior art' argument raised by the USPTO probe in its appeal.

Speaking to the US media this week, Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler explained that:

"One of our main points is going to be over the question of the validity of the patent and that the jury was prevented from hearing and considering evidence related to important prior art during the course of the trial."


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