Amazon, Apple, Google, Yahoo! targeted in patent case

Oct 06, 2009
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.

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, , 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 .

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 Office on three occasions."

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 7

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magpies
Oct 06, 2009
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x646d63
5 / 5 (3) Oct 06, 2009
Companies who sit on patents and wait for infringers to be successful should lose their patent. If you don't proactively protect your patent (I have three) then you should lose it, period.

I don't know the case here, whether these guys were sending letters to Microsoft as soon as IE began allowing ActiveX controls or not, but it sure hasn't read that way in the media. Sounds like they "invented" it and sat back and waited for the big players to invent it, too, and are now trying to collect a reward.
Zac
5 / 5 (3) Oct 06, 2009
Patent-squatting is one of the worst abuses of our intellectual property laws. I don't know enough on this case to make a call for sure as to whether Eolas was squatting, I think the fact they waited fifteen years while the entire internet "ripped them off" before doing anything to defend their IP is pretty damning.
magpies
not rated yet Oct 06, 2009
Are you actualy supporting big companys?
SDrapak
not rated yet Oct 06, 2009
And successful companies are evil because...? Apart from paying most people's paychecks?
magpies
Oct 07, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
donjoe0
5 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2009
I say join your local Pirate Party so we can end this kind of patent-/copyright-fascist nonsense.
Arikin
not rated yet Oct 07, 2009
Are companies suppose to check every possible patent out there for every single idea they came up with themselves??

Maybe they should look into the code and see if the technique is exactly the same. If done by two different people/companies it should be different.

In the IT field 15 years is ancient history!
superhuman
5 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2009
Software patents are extremely counterproductive and should be invalidated ASAP.

I have yet to see a software patent which would warrant any protection due to innovation and brilliance involved, they are either obvious solutions to problems which would be solved in exactly the same way by a multitude of programmers or blatant trolling attempts.

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