theodp writes "Through its WebTV unit, Microsoft was awarded a patent Tuesday for a system and method for encouraging viewers to watch television programs, such as offering viewers frequent-flier miles for identifying the name of a sponsor or the color of an announcer's shirt. In other news, Microsoft took a District Court to task for failing to recognize the existence of prior art for the Eolas web plug-in patent, resulting in a $521 million judgment against the software giant."
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