Clay Mayers posted this on the win_tech_off_topic list:
Another reason the patent maybe ruled as invalid is that Microsoft has a tendency to spread FUD before introducing a technology. This is in effect selling the patented product testing the waters to see if people will buy. Once you do that, you only have a year to file the patent. After that, your own product becomes prior art for your patent. This one was filed Feb of 2002 so they had better not have made any promises about what the system will do prior to Feb of 2001.
This puzzles me. I was at the PDC in 2000 when .NET was announced and described in some detail in the various sessions. Surely, as Clay suggests, this public description of the technologies, including printed handouts, invalidates any claim made a year and a half later?