Ray Ozzie, the software designer who wrote the Lotus Notes program, may try to derail a $521 million verdict against Microsoft Corp. to help save the company from having to make changes to its Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft last month was found to have violated a patent held by Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California. Lotus Notes used similar technology before Eolas applied for its patent, and that may clear Microsoft, Ozzie wrote on his Web site Saturday. He called on software writers to check their products for similar innovations, called prior art.
"It now seems that perhaps the browser itself and the browsing experience may have to be nontrivially modified as a result of the judgment," wrote Ozzie, whose company counts Microsoft as an investor. "If some of us perhaps dust off our old code, is there a chance that we could still save the browser through demonstration of clear prior art?"