Companies with products that work on the internet are waking up to the implications of a recent judgement against Microsoft in a patent infringement case. The US$520 million award to Eolas Technologies and the University of California stemmed from a 1999 lawsuit in which Eolas and UC charged Microsoft with infringing on a 1998 patent owned by the university and licensed to Eolas. That patent, which Eolas President Michael Doyle developed at UC San Francisco, covers technology that lets applets or plug-ins be embedded in Web pages and interacted with through web browsers such as Internet Explorer. In response to the judgement against it, Microsoft said last week it will be making changes to Internet Explorer that might affect a "large number of existing Web pages," the World Wide Web Consortium said in a statement. Technology and legal experts agree that the ruling could affect a range of companies with products that interact with Web browsers or services that rely on customer interaction through web browsers.