A US technology company which won a patent case against software giant Microsoft filed suit on Tuesday against nearly two dozen other high-profile firms accusing them of violating the same patent.
Adobe, Amazon, Apple, eBay, Google, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Yahoo! and YouTube were among the 23 companies named in the lawsuit filed in a Texas court by Eolas Technologies Inc.
Eolas was awarded a 565-million-dollar judgment in a patent lawsuit against Microsoft in 2004 but ended up settling the dispute three years later for an undisclosed amount.
Microsoft was accused by Illinois-based Eolas of violating a patent held by the Illinois-based company in its Web browser Internet Explorer.
In the latest suit, Eolas accused the 23 companies of violating the same patent as in the Microsoft case, its '906 patent which enables Web browsers to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications.
They were also accused of violating Eolas's '985 patent, which the company described in a statement as a "continuation of the '906 patent."
"We developed these technologies over 15 years ago and demonstrated them widely, years before the marketplace had heard of interactive applications embedded in Web pages tapping into powerful remote resources," Eolas chairman Michael Doyle said.
"Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair," Doyle said. "All we want is what's fair."
Mike McKool, lead counsel for Eolas, said "what distinguishes this case from most patent suits is that so many established companies named as defendants are infringing a patent that has been ruled valid by the Patent Office on three occasions."
(c) 2009 AFP
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