-Priority Cases"> Desler declined to name those patent-infringement cases that are Microsofts highest priorities. But these four are undoubtedly in the running:
Chicago-based Eolas Technologies Inc., which holds a license to a patent from the University of California, won a jury verdict last year against Microsoft. The outcome of the high-profile verdict, now being appealed, could impact core Web browser technology beyond Microsofts Internet Explorer. The patent covers the embedding and invoking of interactive applications, such as plug-ins and applets, in browsers.
That helped to persuade the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reconsider the original patent. An initial review by the office found the patent to be invalid, though no final decision has been reached. The patent offices review is separate from the court case, but legal observers say its decision could be used in the appeals process. TV Interactive Data Corp. of Los Gatos, Calif., sued Microsoft in May 2002, alleging that the autoplay feature in Windows infringes on its patent. Microsoft noted the case in its latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A September trial has been set in the case, but the two companies also have held a series of court-ordered settlement conferences, with the most recent one held April 1.
A 2001 lawsuit by Research Corporation Technologies of Tucson, Ariz., over a patent involving the displaying and printing of images also appears headed to a trial. A federal judge in January granted RCTs request for a summary judgment, which opened the way for a jury trial.
Teknowledge Corp. of Palo Alto, Calif., filed a patent-infringement suit against Microsoft in July 2003 concerning its patents for delivering alerts to about changes to Web pages or the availability of software updates. Most recently, Microsoft filed a counterclaim in February alleging that Teknowledge is infringing on its patents on electronic bill payments and information aggregation.
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A federal judge in January upheld the jury verdict but put on hold an injunction against the sale of Internet Explorer with the patented technology pending the outcome of an appeal, which Microsoft filed in February. At the same time, the verdict led an outcry from the World Wide Web Consortium.