KSR looming large?? Probably.

I found (via CNET) this article that discusses the settlement between Microsoft and Eolas. Recall that Eloas had a patent on some browser technology that was developed at UC then spun out to Eolas. The initial verdict was against Microsoft for infringing and awarded damages totaling over $500 million.

Microsoft was appealing, then this week settled.

The article mentions that Eolas is going to pay a dividend between $60 and $70 per share. With a wild and completely uninformed guess that there are between 5 and 20M shares would put the settlement somewhere between $30M and $150M.

An updated article in the NYT mentions that:

Microsoft has been challenging the patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well. The agency in May said it would consider whether Microsoft or Mr. Doyle was the first to invent the feature and thus entitled to the patent. The agency agreed to consider the matter after it reissued the Microsoft patent with new wording that mirrored what is written in the universityâ??s patent.

So, would you settle for $100M, or risk $500M that the appeal is upheld?

Deal or No Deal? That’s the question.

The way the wind is blowing w.r.t patents and obviousness, they took the deal.

Smart move.


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