At long last, the U.S. Congress has taken up the controversial issue of software patents. Last week, a draft of new legislation was publicly circulated, and a congressional subcommittee held the first hearings on the proposed law, whose primary purpose appears to be -- wait, you may want to sit down for this. Its primary purpose seems to be to save Microsoft a half-billion dollars.
Is that unfair? Well, maybe. Let's say that one of the proposed law's purposes is to overturn Eolas v. Microsoft, the lawsuit in which a jury in 2003 awarded $521 million to a company that said Microsoft infringed on its software patents.
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