Microsoft loses Eolas Supreme Court appeal

Microsoft has lost the latest round in its battle with the patents company Eolas. The Supreme Court in the US has decided not to hear a review of the case.

The long running case concerns a patent by Eolas and the University of California that covers the use of applets in browsers. In 2003, a jury found that Microsoft had infringed the patent and ordered the company to pay $521 million in damages.

The software giant had asked the Supreme Court to review a decision by the appeals court. Microsoft had asked that the damages be limited to US distribution of the Internet Explorer browser only. The company had argued that to base the damages on world wide distribution would extend a US software patent worldwide. The Supreme Court has dismissed the request without comment.

The case has not been going well for Microsoft of late. At the end of Septemberthe US Patent Office upheld the Eolas claim and rejected Microsoft’s claim of ‘prior art’. The case now returns to the District Court after an Appeals Court limited some of the original findings.

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