Why does an alert box work around the Eolas patent?

Since the new version of Internet Explorer was announced, I’ve been curious to know why an alert box nullifies the patent issues. It turns out that since the patent only covers automatic loading of plugins, the fact that IE pops up a message box and requires user interaction makes the loading of plugins no longer automatic and thus the patent no longer applies.

Thanks to Macromedia for providing this explanation. They have a lot of great content on their Active Content Development Center.

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