The court's decision not to hear the case involving Eolas Technologies, announced without comment on Monday, clears the way for proceedings to continue before a federal district judge.
from a federal jury in Chicago sent shock waves across the Internet. If Eolas and its business partner, the University of California, eventually prevail, the effects could force a redesign of Web pages that use plug-in applications like Macromedia Flash and Adobe Acrobat that run inside a Web browser.
In subsequent attempts to convince Congress to reform federal patent laws,the Eolas case as an example of "abusive litigation" that should be curbed by legislative action.
A federal appeals court in Marchand sent it back to the district judge for a new trial.
Microsoft hopes that this time it will be able to, called Viola, created by a computer programmer and artist named Pei Wei and demonstrated to other researchers a year before the University of California filed for its patent. The university and its spinoff company, Eolas, share the rights to a patent that they claim covers plug-ins and applets that are invoked through a Web browser.
Eolas' patent, numbered 5,838,906 and granted in November 1998, discusses a way to execute a program on a remote server and send data back to a Web browser, "thus providing the user of the client computer with interactive features."