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Eolas To Sue Apple, Google, and 21 Others 252

Posted by kdawson
from the foaming-cleanser dept.
vinodis and several other readers sent along the news that Eolas is suing 23 companies including Apple and Google for patent infringement. The company won $585M from Microsoft in a drawn-out, 9-year battle that the companies settled in 2007; in the course of it the USPTO upheld the "906" patent several times. Now, Eolas is also in possession of a newly-issued patent that they claim covers the use of any browser plugin with AJAX. Let's see how far this lawsuit gets before the Supreme Court plays its wildcard in the Bilski case, which we have been discussing for a while now.
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Eolas To Sue Apple, Google, and 21 Others

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  • technology judges (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:03PM (#29663629)

    There needs to be special judges just for technology cases. The existing judges are completely out of their realm when it comes to technology patent judgements. I hate that some 80 year old judge who has never used a computer in his/her life has any kind of say-so technology patents. These judges can probably barely grasp how to turn a computer on let alone make a ruling on anything that has to do with them.

  • Re:Fuck Eolas (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maharb (1534501) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:24PM (#29663855)

    Heard of ethics? Usually ethics is subjective but this case... not so much. You are not required to file suits against companies... so it was a conscious decision in pursuit of money. They are trying to defend a patent that is about the equal of patenting 'land' and saying anyone that uses 'land' is violating their patent. Clearly this patent is bullshit and clearly trying to defend a patent that you know is bullshit it unethical and possibly illegal depending on the degree of Eolas "knowing" the patent is bullshit (which they obviously do).

    I am sorry your moral compass is so fucked you can't seem to see the issues here. You can't rely on the government to do everything for you... there and many things in the world that are not illegal but are quite harmful to society. Just because it is 'legal' to file this suit doesn't mean it is right. And there is still question to the legality under this clause:

    "In the United States, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and similar state rules require that an attorney perform a due diligence investigation concerning the factual basis for any claim or defense."

    If the patent is blatantly illegitimate and is easy to prove it should be invalid then the lawyers are actually breaking the law.

  • Re:Fuck Eolas (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sofar (317980) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:38PM (#29663977) Homepage

    Microsoft did admit it. In an internal memo Bill Gates wrote in 1991:

    "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today."

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:54PM (#29664123) Homepage
    Is that all? Excellent! In that case I think that I can cite an example of prior art.

    I worked on a system called "MUCH", short for "Many Users Creating Hypermedia", at the University of Liverpool in England back in 1989-1992. Running on UNIX and built in-house by postgraduate students under the guidance of Professor Roy Rada using C and the Andrew Toolkit", the project itself was inspired by Ted Nelson's "Project Xanadu" [xanadu.net]. Mention of the project is also made in Prof. Rada's C.V. [umbc.edu] at his current employer, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    Fairly obviously, given the name, MUCH allowed multiple users to collaboratively create SGML based hypermedia documents via an integrated version control mechanism similar to that employed by Wikipedia. These documents, while mostly textual (it was the early 1990's!) besides having the ability to contain both graphical and audio content, could also contain any number of embedded external applets written using the Andrew Toolkit. Some of the proof of concept applications developed while I was there (work continued after I left) included animated clocks, calendars, calculators and other widgets, many of which were interactive.
  • by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @07:08PM (#29664251)

    That's only because MSFT already lost massively. this is one of those things that slashdot was divided over. a court loss for MSFT or feeding yet another patent troll.

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:31PM (#29665697) Homepage Journal

    I worked for a law firm, that is common place.

    Lawyers who are creme of the crop and win a lot of tough cases, cannot figure out simple stuff about computers.

    I was once told that my program didn't work because the mouse wouldn't click on a button, only to learn the lawyer was using the right button instead of the left button. I nicely told the lawyer to try the left button and he got upset at me and claimed the fault was with my program, not him. Then after calling me a lot of bad names and saying stuff like "Trained monkeys could do a better job than the entire IT department." he tried the left button and it worked.

    I also got help desk requests from lawyers and administrative assistants to add in features to my programs that where already there. They didn't know how to access them, so I wrote an email containing an HOWTO to the Help Desk to forward to them, and they got upset at me and asked me to add in the features anyway. We had a training department that is supposed to teach them the features, we had a user manual about the features, we had the help menu about the features, but still they kept requesting the same features that the software already had, but they didn't know how to access them.

    I suppose they are good at their jobs, but not computer literate enough to matter. Then again, I am no lawyer and I wouldn't do well in a court of law representing a client as they obviously would.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @11:17PM (#29665979)

    Easy friend, we're more alike than different. Decade of IT here too, also an EE.

    I know we all have limitations. But sometimes your limitations don't match well to a particular career. There's a good reason there is an eye exam to be a pilot. Likewise, if you're making tech decisions for people...well, you know what I'm getting at.

    I'm not as bitter as I sound. Mostly I find this sort of stuff amusing. Like life is a gigantic Dilbert comic.

    Really it's all a testament to how well human society is designed. We can have idiots for doctors, lawyers, supervisors, pilots, patent clerks, and even the occasional president and somehow it's all still there in the morning.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!

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