By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-04-12 Print this article Print

-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.
    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.
    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. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

    Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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