Microsoft makes changes to IE after patent battle


Microsoft makes changes to IE after patent battle

Antony Savvas

Microsoft is developing Internet Explorer code changes that allow the browser to avoid using technology patented by Eolas, which is involved in a long-running legal dispute with the Redmond giant.

Updates in Internet Explorer are expected to be released from next year to change the way the browser deals with ActiveX controls. Such controls allow animation and music to be built directly into web pages.

Microsoft is accused of using patented Eolas technology to allow Internet Explorer users to automatically access such features. The new code Microsoft will be pushing out through updates and fixes will mean users will have to click to access many features.

Eolas had previously won a $520m (£306m) judgement against Microsoft, which was later overturned and a new trial ordered, though a judge did rule that Microsoft had infringed Eolas’ patents.

Microsoft had been appealing the size of the compensation and is in dispute with the US patent office about Eolas’ patents.

The changes that Microsoft is making will also be incorporated into the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system and Internet Explorer version 7.

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