Microsoft settles browser patent dispute

31 Aug 2007

A long-running dispute over the rights to embedded technology which Microsoft used in its internet explorer has been settled yesterday as the Redmond company came to an agreement with the patent owner after eight years in and out of court.

The technology is owned by Dr Michael Doyle, the chairman of Chicago-based Eolas Technologies to whom the patent was granted in November of 1998, with a lawsuit dating back as far as 1999 when Eolas claimed that Microsoft had used its technology in both Windows 95 and Windows 98 as well as internet explorer.

In 2003 a Chicago jury found Microsoft guilty of infringing on Eolas’ intellectual property and was ordered to pay US$521m in damages.

Following appeals part of the decision was reversed in 2005 with a new trial ordered which was to begin last month in Chicago but was postponed due to negotiations between Microsoft and Eolas.

Details of the settlement have not yet been released but Eolas Technologies’ chief operating officer, Mark Swords, told the New York Times that a certain number of Eolas’ shareholders would get US$60 to US$72 per share.

By Marie Boran