The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by Microsoft Corp. in a case involving claims by a privately held California software firm and the University of California that Microsoft infringed their patents with its Internet Explorer browser.
Without comment, the high court rejected an appeal by Microsoft that it said involved more than 64 percent of the $521 million patent infringement ruling against the software giant.
Patent number 5,838,906 is owned by the University of California, but licensed by tiny tech firm Eolas Technologies, and covers the use of external applications from within a browser. In 1999, both the school and company won $521 million after a federal court ruled that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer infringed on the patent. Microsoft has been fighting the ruling in courts ever-since, trying to suggest the patent was in the public domain and therefore invalid. That battle was just made considerably more difficult: after reviewing the patent since 2003, the patent office has ruled that it is in fact valid.