The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated a claim to Web browser technology central to a case against Microsoft, a move that could spare the software giant from paying more than half a billion dollars in damages, according to documents obtained on Friday.
The patent agency’s preliminary decision, if upheld, also means that Microsoft will not be required to make changes to its Internet Explorer Web browser that would have crippled the program’s ability to work with mini-programs that work over the Internet, such as the QuickTime and Flash media players.
I look forward to reading the decision — earlier Eolas postings
Update: Slashdot story – Feds Reject Eolas Browser Plug-In Patent
Further update: No US patent for the patently obvious, with links.