Microsoft, Eolas settle big patent dispute (Updated) â€” Microsoft and Eolas Technologies Inc. have settled their high-profile patent dispute over technology in Internet Explorer, according to a letter to Eolas shareholders from Mark Swords, the company’s chief operating officer.
Source: Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog
Patents are often cheaper to settle than win. The Patent office approves two thirds of applications, not all of those can be unique. From the unique way to play on a swing, to that ability to buy it now, patents are issued for a lot of things not all of them are unique.
The purpose of the retrial was largely to re-admit evidence about the Viola browser as prior art, which the judge had not allowed to be presented fully in the first trial. The work of Pei Wei, Viola was in development at O’Reilly in 1992-1994. He wrote ViolaWWW, the first graphical web browser, which we began showing in 1992. Pei demonstrated an embedded object, a program that generated a wireframe of a jet fighter and which was very similar to the functionality described by Doyle. (Neither Pei nor I thought it was original then or now.) Lawyers seemed most interested in a demonstration of Viola that we gave to two developers at Sun Microsystems who were working on what became Java. This demonstration showed that Viola was made available to the public.