Microsoft ordered to pay $521m in patent dispute

A US jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $521m (£325m) in damages to a technology company and the University of California after...

A US jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $521m (£325m) in damages to a technology company and the University of California after finding that Microsoft's web browser infringed on a patent.

Eolas Technologies, a research and development company, and the university have accused Microsoft of improperly including technology in Internet Explorer that allows interactive content to be embedded in a website. Eolas filed suit against Microsoft in 1999 and the university later joined the suit.

The University of California hailed the verdict as a "landmark in defining and protecting internet technology".

Microsoft called the jury's decision "disappointing" and said it plans to appeal the verdict to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. "We are confident the facts will support our position," the software supplier said.

The University of California was issued a patent in November 1998 based on work completed by researcher Michael Doyle, who went on to found Eolas. Doyle is also the company's chief executive officer. Eolas has exclusive rights to use and license the patent, according to the University of California.

The patented technology for embedding interactive elements is often used, for example, with video players, virtual tours, games and stock information, said the university.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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