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A judge upheld a jury’s decision requiring Microsoft Corp. to pay $520 million on grounds that its popular Internet Explorer browser infringed on a patent. U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel on Wednesday also rejected a bid for a new trial by Microsoft and ordered the software giant to pay more than $45 million in interest. The jury found following a five-week trial last August that Microsoft infringed on a patent owned by the University of California. The technology allows the delivery of interactive applications to the desktops of users by accessing a Web page anywhere in the world. The suit was filed by the university and Eolas Technologies Inc. of Chicago which owns the exclusive rights to market the technology. Eolas attorney Martin R. Lueck said he was pleased by the decision “and that we’re one step closer to the final resolution of this matter.” Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said the ruling merely finalized the verdict reached last year, adding that as a result, Microsoft will appeal the decision. “We feel good about our prospects on appeal and remain steadfast in our belief that the Eolas patent is not valid,” he said. An appeal would now go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, based in Washington, which has exclusive jurisdiction in patent cases. Microsoft had asked Zagel to throw out the verdict as unsupported by the facts. It had also asked for a new trial and a stay of entering the judgment. He turned down all those requests. But he stayed an injunction barring Microsoft from infringing on the patent until after the appeal is resolved. Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced in November that it is reconsidering the patent. The decision followed warnings that any Microsoft redesign of its software would render many Web pages and products of independent software designers incompatible. Officials said reconsideration of the patent would take a year. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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