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RE: Eolas files motion to enjoin IE

From: Richard M. Smith <rms@computerbytesman.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 16:38:45 -0400
To: <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000f01c38ddc$2b3522d0$550ffea9@rms>

I guess Eolas didn't like Microsoft's work-arounds to the Eolas patent. ;-)


-----Original Message-----
From: public-web-plugins-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-web-plugins-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mike Leach (Cubic
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 3:55 PM
To: public-web-plugins@w3.org
Subject: Eolas files motion to enjoin IE


Eolas files motion to enjoin IE
Last modified: October 8, 2003, 11:29 AM PDT
By Paul Festa 
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Eolas Technologies on Monday filed a motion to permanently enjoin
Microsoft's distribution of its Internet Explorer browser amid a flurry of
court filings by both sides in the pivotal patent-infringement case. 

Eolas, the sole licensee and sublicensor of a browser plug-in patent owned
by the University of California, asked the U.S. District Court in Chicago
for an injunction against distributing copies of IE capable of running
plug-in applications in a way covered by the Eolas patent.

"If they're not going to pony up and take a license under the patent, then
they shouldn't be using it," Martin Lueck of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi
said in an interview.

The Eolas patent-infringement victory has rattled the Web since it was
handed down in August. In its verdict, a jury found that Microsoft's IE
browser infringed on an Eolas patent that describes how a browser opens
external applications of the type produced by Macromedia, Adobe Systems,
RealNetworks, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems and many other software

Lueck said Eolas would still permit Microsoft to distribute IE as is, as
long as it's being used in conjunction with an application provider or
corporate intranet that has an Eolas plug-in license.

So far, Eolas has not granted any such licenses.

Lueck also noted that, should the motion be granted, Microsoft still could
distribute IE with the plug-in capability disabled.

Microsoft said it is well on its way to side-stepping both the patent and a
potential injunction with an IE alteration it previewed Monday, a version of
which it expects to introduce early next year in its next version of
Windows, code-named Longhorn.
Lueck and Eolas founder Mike Doyle said they were in the process of
examining the IE preview and would not comment on its merits.

Microsoft on Monday filed motions to set aside the $521 million judgment and
to grant it a new trial.

"As our court papers outlined (Monday), we believe we have substantial
grounds for reconsideration by the judge," said Michael Wallent, a general
manager in Microsoft's Windows division.

The Redmond, Wash., software giant asked for the new trial based on several
factors, including the unusual proportions of the jury's judgment and the
court's refusal to allow discussion of some prior art or similar technology
that Microsoft believes predated the Eolas patent and should therefore
invalidate it.

The motions Microsoft filed Monday are prerequisites for appealing the case
to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which the company has pledged to do.

Microsoft also said it was preparing to challenge Eolas' demands for the
court to update the damages award to include the period of September 2001 to
the present. That could raise the amount of the award by hundreds of
millions of dollars, though both sides declined to give a more exact

The $521 million award was calculated based on units Microsoft distributed
between October 1998 and September 2001. Eolas has also calculated that
Microsoft owes it about $111 million in interest on that award.

Even as both sides escalated the post-trial battle with the Monday fillings
and Microsoft's IE preview, Lueck called changes to IE unnecessary and
reiterated that Eolas was willing to offer Microsoft a paid-up license in
exchange for the standing jury verdict plus interest. 

"Eolas and the university are willing to resolve the case on a very
reasonable basis," "In view of the amount of the verdict and the accrued
prejudgment interest, we'd be willing to give them a paid-up license, if
they were willing to take out a license."

Lueck warned that the offer was not indefinite.

"That might change in the future if they continue to refuse the deal," he
said. "The quid pro quo would be settle it now, not force us to litigate for
two, three, four years or whatever it is that they have in mind."

Microsoft contested Lueck's characterization of the offer as "reasonable,"
and said the company preferred to pursue its workaround strategy than sign a
"In addition, the changes we rolled out for IE are modest and will not have
significant impact on consumers or the Web community as a whole," said
Microsoft's Wallent. "Based on that, the idea that we would pay more than
$630 million to get rid of a single mouse click on a small fraction of Web
pages is not something that we're entertaining."

Wallent based the "more than $630 million" figure on the $521 million
verdict and a $111 million interest claim by Eolas.
Received on Wednesday, 8 October 2003 16:42:43 UTC

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