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Microsoft Corporation doesn’t often find itself on the losing end of a patent ruling. But this summer the company suffered its second-ever loss in a patent case to Eolas Technologies Incorporated, a small software operation in Wheaton, Illinois. In August a Chicago federal district court jury slapped Microsoft with a $520.6 million judgment, the second-largest patent verdict on record. The jury found that Microsoft had illegally used software technology owned by the University of California and licensed by Eolas. Judge James Zagel confirmed the verdict with a ruling on Eolas’s behalf in September. The plaintiffs first filed suit in 1999. They alleged that about three years earlier, Microsoft started using their patented technology to outpace the company’s competitor, Netscape Communications Corporation. The plaintiffs maintained that the technology � which creates a platform for the delivery of applications on the Internet � was invented in 1993 by Michael Doyle. Then an adjunct professor at the University of California, Doyle later founded Eolas. Microsoft, which has become an expert at fending off patent suits in recent years, insisted the technology was developed in 1991 by Pei Wei, a researcher at another company. Microsoft plans to appeal the judgment. For plaintiffs Eolas Technologies Incorporated (Wheaton, Illinois) and The Regents of the University of California (Oakland) Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi (Minneapolis): Jan Conlin, Martin Lueck, Richard Martinez, and associates Munir Meghjee, Emily Rome, and Keiko Sugisaka. The firm was retained for its expertise in patent litigation. For plaintiff The Regents of the University of California In-house: General counsel James Holst and university counsel Edwin Baker and P. Martin Simpson, Jr. For defendant Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, Washington) In-house: Associate general counsel T. Andrew Culbert. Sidley Austin Brown & Wood (Chicago): William Baumgartner, Russell Cass, Richard Cederoth, David Giardina, David Pritikin, Dale Thomas, and associates Marc Cavan and Laura Donoghue. Leydig, Voit & Meyer (Chicago): H. Michael Hartmann, Brett Hesterberg, Steven Petersen, and associate Vladan Vasiljevic. Hartmann has done patent work for Microsoft since the mid-nineties.

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