Skip navigation

US Supreme Court Rejects Microsoft Appeal Request - 04 Nov 2005

Subscribe to Windows IT Pro:


To ensure that future email messages you receive from WinInfo Daily UPDATE aren't mistakenly blocked by antispam software, be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.


This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertiser, which offers products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit this advertiser's Web site and show your support for WinInfo Daily UPDATE.



Network Testing Labs, one of the world's leading independent research companies, concluded that "Argent's suite had a smaller footprint, was more scalable, supported more platforms, had a more responsive and intuitive user interface and gave us more useful reports," the report says. "Argent's suite of monitoring products emerged from our testing with flying colors." Download this FREE Comparison Paper now:


In the News
- US Supreme Court Rejects Microsoft Appeal Request

==== In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

US Supreme Court Rejects Microsoft Appeal Request The US Supreme Court yesterday declined a request by Microsoft that it hear the software giant's appeal of the Eolas Web browser patent infringement case. The high court gave no reason for its refusal.

The Eolas case has been a rollercoaster ride for Microsoft. Eolas first sued Microsoft in 1999, claiming that Internet Explorer (IE) infringed on a University of California patent for which it is the sole licensee. The patent describes a system for accessing embedded program objects in a browser, such as plug-ins for media players. After a 2003 trial, a jury awarded Eolas $521 million, but a subsequent appeal and questions about the validity of the patent overturned the verdict in March 2005.

Surprisingly, the US Patent & Trademark Office ruled in September that Eolas' patent was valid, despite numerous examples of prior art. The US District Court in Chicago is still examining the validity of the patent, however, and a new trial will determine whether Microsoft must pay the $521 million award to Eolas. Curiously, Microsoft's request before the US Supreme Court involved determining how damages in the case should be calculated. The $521 million verdict is apparently based on worldwide sales of Windows, which includes IE, while Microsoft is arguing that Eolas should only be able to make a claim against US sales, should its patent be ruled valid.

"We will continue with the trial of the remanded case before the District Court and we're confident that our position will ultimately prevail," a Microsoft spokesperson said. A date for the new trial has yet to be set. Eolas, meanwhile, appears to be confident it will win the case. "We don't believe the outcome will be any different in front of the court than it was in the patent office," an Eolas lawyer said.

The Eolas patent has caused a stir in the Web developer community because the patent is so wide-ranging and could ultimately affect many companies and people. In a rare moment of unity, numerous trade groups, organizations, and even the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) rallied around Microsoft's efforts to nullify the Eolas patent, because of the negative effects that patent will have on the industry. The W3C argues that the Eolas patent could result in the destruction of "millions of historically important Web pages," which had been designed to follow Web standards.

==== Events and Resources ====
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Get Ready for the SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe - Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005!
SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a one-year membership to PASS and one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now.

==== Featured White Paper ====

Software Packaging Workflow Best Practices
Managing desktop software configurations doesn't have to be a manual process resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this free whitepaper, you'll learn how to manage the software package preparation process and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost effectiveness. Download your copy now and discover the value of standardizing the software packaging process.

==== Announcements ====

Become a VIP Subscriber!
Get inside access to ALL the articles, tools, and helpful resources published in Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Magazine, Exchange and Outlook Administrator, Windows Scripting Solutions, and Windows IT Security--that's more than 26,000 articles at your fingertips. Your VIP subscription also includes a valuable one-year print subscription to Windows IT Pro and two VIP CDs (includes the entire article database on CD). Sign up now:

==== Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today!

Manage Your Account
You are subscribed as %%$email%%

You are receiving this email message because you subscribed to this newsletter on our Web site. To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link: %%UNSUB_HREF%%

View the Windows IT Pro privacy policy at

Windows IT Pro is a division of Penton Media Inc. 221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538 Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2005, Penton Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.