Recap: In 1999, Eolas Technologies sued Microsoft claiming that it held a patent on browser plug-ins which allow browsers, such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, to embed other programs, such as Macromedia’s Flash in a web page. In August, Eolas won the case sending the web development community into a tailspin. Hundreds of thousands of websites around the world would need to be modified to remove these plug-ins.
Update: The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has launched a rare review of the validity of Eolas’ patent, based on claims that other people had developed similar technology before Eolas. If the Patent office cancels the patent, the August decision would surely be overturned on appeal.
Today, Microsoft announced that it would hold off on releasing a modified version of Internet Explorer until the outcome of the appeal is known. Web developers around the world have bought some time.