Back in March 2004 the EOLAS patent was ruled invalid; that decision has now been reversed.
During 2003, before the March 2004 decision, Microsoft experimented with a fix for the EOLAS issue which basically involved users having to click on an OK button whenever a page included active content - some examples of content that would trigger the dialogue box included java applets and embedded Flash.
I remember testing the Internet Explorer EOLAS update by visiting www.javaboutique.com - talk about nasty - on some pages I would have to click on the ok button a dozen times during page load.
What effect is the resurrection of the patent going to have on us, the users? Right now, I don't know. So far Microsoft, Apple, Macromedia, Real Networks etc do not seem to have reacted to the decision.
The University of California are, of course, going after the cash - specifically the $521 million dollars which they were awarded back in 2003:
"“Given the appeals court’s affirmation of Microsoft’s infringement and the favorable resolution of the reexamination, we look forward to quickly dispatching the remaining issues before the district court so that the university and Eolas can be fairly compensated for the use of their property right,...”
Some history: My old page about this problem is here:
An excellent page for information about EOLAS, albeit out of date, is computerbytesman.com.
Eolas have their own collection of links:
Old PressPass releases:
Microsoft Announces Steps to Address Eolas Patent Ruling
Microsoft Holds Off on Eolas-Related Changes To Windows and Internet Explorer