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Texas Jury Strikes Down Man's Claim to Own the Interactive Web 151

ackthpt writes "Sir Tim Berners-Lee traveled to a courtroom in East Texas to give his testimony on how, if upheld, the Eolas Technologies & University of California patent on Web Interactivity could prove to be a major threat to the Internet as it's known today. The Jury deliberated only a few hours before invalidating the patent in question. In a victory Tweet Berners-Lee said, 'Texas jury agreed Eolas 906 patent invalid. Good thing too!' Google, Amazon, Apple, Adobe and a host of other companies, with representatives present, must have given a Texas-size sigh of relief."
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Texas Jury Strikes Down Man's Claim to Own the Interactive Web

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  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @10:45AM (#38994825) Journal
    Satan, satan, please check your realm. Is it frozen over or what? Some East Texas jury found for the defendant in a patent law suite. Wondering what happened and how a random act of sanity struck East Texas. I know those guys were upset about their main Rick Perry being laughed off the national stage. Are they taking the first baby steps to acquire some kind of respectability?
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:12AM (#38995127) Journal

    Really, can we get rid of the legal gimmick of cherry picking where you want the trial held because you know certain areas in the country are biased?

  • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:16AM (#38995169)

    Indeed. Ironic how someone who actually did get the national focus on the 'net and did a substantial amount to help fund the original hubs that grew into the 'net gets so much mockery from so many folks who's careers depend upon it.

  • by PickyH3D ( 680158 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @11:53AM (#38995557)

    If they are so familiar with the topic, then why do they side with crazy so frequently?

    This appears to have been a case of luck--not experience--that ended Eolas' current tirade through the industry. It's only a matter of time before they appeal the decision, and before the next stupid patent result coming out of East Texas.

    Just to be completely fair, a lot of their decisions may simply fall on the side of stupidity because much of the system is broken, but there have been numerous patent cases running through East Texas that have had proven-prior art that was ignored for whatever reason.

  • by Stewie241 ( 1035724 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:04PM (#38995677)

    It seems odd that the testimony was 'could prove to be a major threat to the Internet as it's known today'. If we are going to have a patent system it seems unreasonable that the argument that the technology in the patent in question is too critical to the way society operates and is so central should be a reasonable argument for invalidating the patent claim.

    I'm not intending to make any claim about this particular patent. I only wish to say that that seems like a stupid reason to invalidate a patent based on the patent framework that we seem to have.

  • by flanders123 ( 871781 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @12:25PM (#38995989)

    If they are so familiar with the topic, then why do they side with crazy so frequently?

    One theory I've heard is this "industry" is a huge boon for the town. All the local businesses (false fronts and not) setting up shop, all the lawyers flying in and out of town...this puts big $$ into the local economy. The region knows they own this niche market, and want the customers to return.

    Its no different than locals supporting regional activities that could be questionable to the big picture....such as for argument's sake, big oil, coal mining, big corn, improper fishing, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @01:33PM (#38996849)

    Tim Berners-Lee, yes, you are right. Totally ripped off by Gore.

    Seriously though, its too bad Gore didn't actually do something with the 'net. Give him something to do instead of driving the rest of world crazy with his global warming shtick.

  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:53PM (#38997697) Homepage

    Such a dilemma. Shall I believe you or Vint Cerf?

    "Vint Cerf, undisputedly one of the Internet's key inventors, will give Gore the [Webby] award at a June 6 [2005] ceremony in New York. 'He is indeed due some thanks and consideration for his early contributions,' Cerf said." []

A list is only as strong as its weakest link. -- Don Knuth