Microsoft and Eolas Technologies have settled their long-running legal battle, according to a letter sent to Eolas shareholders.

The battle stems from a lawsuit, first filed by Eolas in 1999, which charged Microsoft with infringing on Eolas patents in its Internet Explorer browser. The patent relates to embedding interactive content in websites.

Eolas won an initial $500 million judgment but appeals by Microsoft resulted in further investigation into the patent's validity. In late July, the companies said that they were working to settle the case.

A letter, posted on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website, says that the companies settled on August 24, but will not disclose terms of the settlement. On September 4, Eolas plans a shareholder meeting and will discuss information from the settlement that it is allowed to disclose as well as future business plans for the company.

The letter, signed by Eolas Chief Operating Officer Mark Swords, also says that the company plans to pay a dividend of between $60 and $72 per share to shareholders.

A Microsoft spokesman could not immediately comment on the settlement and Eolas has not replied to a request for further comment.