Microsoft Corp. and Eolas Technologies Inc. have settled their long-running legal battle, according to a letter sent to Eolas shareholders. (...) The suit, first filed by Eolas in 1999, charged Microsoft with infringing on Eolas patents in its Internet Explorer browser. The patent relates to embedding interactive content in Web sites.
(...) the cost of the settlement to Microsoft isn't clear. In the letter (PDF, 2 pgs) Swords explained that the Eolas board anticipates paying a dividend to shareholders of between $60 and $72 per share. However, he wrote that the agreement prevents Eolas and Microsoft from disclosing the terms of the settlement. Eolas is privately held, and the letter does not disclose the total number of shares outstanding in the company.
Eolas, a University of California spin-off, had alleged that Internet Explorer violated its patent for accessing interactive content on Web pages.
I am not disclosing how much it cost me either, but I will say that I had to rewrite about a thousand pages of HTML last year to keep all my Flash, ShockWave, QuickTime, Java, RealMedia and Windows Media content working properly and I was less than happy about it...
M$ could have licensed it but they didn't. Had they done so possibly hundreds of thousands of web developers would have been spared Samizdata's problems but they chose to work round it instead causing countless web pages to fail to function correctly. No wonder we all love M$ so much.