Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Setback for Microsoft Ripples Through the World Wide Web

[...]

"Last month, Microsoft suffered a stinging setback in a patent-infringement case when a federal jury awarded $521 million to a former University of California researcher. ... [T]he rest of the industry is not smiling.

[...]

"The technology in question enables a browser to summon programs automatically over the Internet. The programs that use this technology include those for playing music, videos and animations and exchanging documents over the Internet. The technology was not only used by Microsoft in its Internet Explorer browsing software, but has become a standard feature in the software for coding Web pages, called hypertext markup language, that has been ratified by the Web consortium.

"The court ruling and its potential impact, according to Mr. Weitzner, points to the larger issue of the need to keep the basic software of the Web free of patent royalties.

[...]

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