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Court rejects Microsoft’s patent appeal

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court Monday refused to consider an appeal by Microsoft Corp in a case involving claims by a privately held California software firm [Eolas] and the University of California that Microsoft infringed on their patents with its Internet Explorer browser.

Source: CNN Money

This is that Eolas debacle that I have written a lot about. It looks like it is finally over. Of course looks can be deceiving. This case now goes back to the federal court. So I am sure this will not be the last we hear of it.

So what is the big deal?

The case sparked concerns that Microsoft would have to alter its Internet browser, making it unable to run certain applets, or mini-applications, that run on Web pages. Microsoft’s browser is used by nine of every 10 Web surfers.

If Internet Explorer had to change the way it used the EMBED tag for applets/plugins (such as Flash and QuickTime) we would have a large problem on our hands.

Suppose Internet Explorer was forced to change their browser and no one else was, that could get ugly. Even if every web browser had to make a change for applets/plugins it would be a lot of work for both the browser and web developers.

The World Wide Web Consortium is claiming “prior art” in this case, which I agree. As much as I like seeing the government sticking it to Microsoft, this is not the place.

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