Patent infringement costs Microsoft $512 million

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $512 million to Eolas Technologies after a jury in Chicago ruled that its Internet Explorer web browser infringed Eolas Technologies’ 1998 patent.

Microsoft has been ordered to pay $512 million to Eolas Technologies after a jury in Chicago ruled that its Internet Explorer web browser infringed Eolas Technologies’ patent. Microsoft intends to appeal yesterdays ruling to the US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Microsoft said in a statement: ‘It’s important to note that the court has already rejected claims that there was any wilful infringement. We believe the evidence will ultimately show that there was no infringement of any kind, and that the accused feature in our browser technology was developed by our own engineers based on pre-existing Microsoft technology.

‘As an intellectual property company, Microsoft invests heavily in research and development, and is committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of others.

‘Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this case, Microsoft will work hard to ensure that there is very little if any impact on our customers.’

The suit, brought in 1999, charged Microsoft with infringement of US Patent 5,838,906 (‘906) by Microsoft’s various web-enabled operating system and application products, including Windows 98, Windows 95 and Internet Explorer.