“In a preliminary ruling, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office Friday said the original HTML specs precede a patent for Web page plug-ins owned by Eolas Technologies, invalidating its patent claims against Microsoft. The decision has the potential to block a $521 million payout by the Redmond, Wash.-based software vendor to Eolas — a spin-off from the University of California. In 1999, Chicago-based Eolas notified the Microsoft that its Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser had invalidated its claims. In August 2003, a jury found that Microsoft did infringe on Eolas’ patents.”
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