For those following the Eolas lawsuit against Microsoft for plug-in browser software, which could have chilling effects on Web as a whole, this is good news.
The US Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) has issued a preliminary ruling that an Eolas patent on browser technology allegedly infringed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) is invalid.
A USPTO spokesperson said yesterday because prior art existed in this case, it had prompted a "director ordered" re-examination of Eolas' patent. The patent is now undergoing re-examination, in a process that can take up to 21 months. Eolas has 60 days to refute the preliminary findings. [Computer Business Review]