Microsoft forced to update Internet Explorer following patent case


Microsoft forced to update Internet Explorer following patent case

Antony Savvas

Microsoft has again been forced to modify its software in the aftermath of a patent dispute.

Microsoft recently had to modify its Office suite following a patent judgement that said it had infringed a patent in the way its Access database interfaces with the Excel spreadsheet.

This time the company has been forced to update its dominant Internet Explorer browser following a patent dispute with University of California-backed company Eolas Technologies.

Microsoft is changing IE to reduce any liability it may have as a result of the long-running patent dispute.

Eolas, which was spun out of the University of California, originally won $500m (£295m) in damages for an alleged patent infringement by Microsoft, over the way IE handles interactive content.

Microsoft appealed and won the right for a second trial over the claim which is expected to start some time this year.

The browser update changes how the browser handles web programs known as ActiveX controls. The changes will impact on how certain sites display.

As a result, Microsoft is recommending that web developers make changes to their pages, or consumers will have to make an extra click to access some content, including that developed using Flash.

Microsoft said it expected the IE update to have “little” impact on consumers and web developers.

Microsoft said end-users were expected to install the updated IE over the next four to six months through their usual software update channels.


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