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Eolas sues half of the Internet

Eolas sues half of the Internet

Eolas Technologies is targeting most of the Internet in its latest lawsuit, which accuses multiple companies of flagrant patent infringement.

Eolas Technologies - the intellectual property holding company which successfully sued Microsoft for the princely sum of $512 million - has filed suit against what appears to be most of the Internet, plus a few miscellaneous companies for good measure.

According to an article over on DownloadSquad, the infamous company - which describes itself as an "Internet technology provider" - has filed suit in Texas this week to "assert the company's intellectual property rights based on two groundbreaking patents, including one that has passed two separate reexaminations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office."

The main patent in the case - number 7,599,985 - is described as a "continuation of the '906 patent" which saw the company gaining a multi-million dollar judgement against Microsoft a few years ago, and covers the idea that websites can "add fully-interactive embedded applications to their online offerings through the use of plug-in [sic] and AJAX web development techniques" and was issued to the company earlier this month.

Michael Doyle, chairman of Eolas, claims that his company "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," and claims that "all we want is what's fair."

Perhaps the most interesting thing about what could be just another patent suit is the list of defendants: while the big names in e-commerce are listed - including Amazon, Apple, eBay, Office Depot, and Staples - it also includes web firms such as Google - and its YouTube subsidiary - Go Daddy Inc., and Yahoo!. As if that wasn't enough, the suit goes on to name major US banks with on-line offerings including Citigroup - owner of Citibank - and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Not even the food and pornography industries - possibly closest to the heart of any true American - escape accusation, with PepsiCo-owned crisp manufacturer Frito-Lay and Playboy Enterprises also named in the suit.

If its claims are upheld, Eolas could be in line for a serious payout from the massive list of defendants - although with the list of targets so big you can't help but wonder if the company has bitten off more than it can chew this time around.

Do you think that Eolas has a valid claim, or is it simply attempting to cash in on others' success? Share your thoughts over in ]the forums.

48 Comments

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Krikkit 7th October 2009, 14:45 Quote
Why has it waited until now to sue all these folk? Why hasn't it been haranguing these folks for years?
Horizon 7th October 2009, 14:46 Quote
Hey, If you were at the helm of the gravy train, you'd also kick the throttle to full and ride it as far it'll go.
mi1ez 7th October 2009, 14:56 Quote
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Good luck with that one!
proxess 7th October 2009, 15:07 Quote
This is probably the biggest patent trolling, ever! That's one mighty list of "Infringements".
l3v1ck 7th October 2009, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Why has it waited until now to sue all these folk? Why hasn't it been haranguing these folks for years?
Simple. It thinks it'll get more money now the technology has gone mainstream. If it had sued when people first started using it, they'd make a lot less.
Greedy parasitic sods.
Blademrk 7th October 2009, 15:30 Quote
I could imagine this getting buried, too many high profile defendents with deeper pockets than Eolas.
Combinho 7th October 2009, 15:43 Quote
Much as I hate patent trolls, this is hilarious. If they win this, they'll be suing all the mammals on the planet next because they have the patent to breathing.
Abhorsen 7th October 2009, 15:44 Quote
I hope this makes mainstream news... and that it actually gets to a stage where they 'may' win...
Tyinsar 7th October 2009, 15:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
I could imagine this getting buried, too many high profile defendents with deeper pockets than Eolas.
+1

There they go again: 90% of lawyers give the rest a bad name ;)
Sleepstreamer 7th October 2009, 16:04 Quote
Software patents, best invention ever.
glaeken 7th October 2009, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
This is probably the biggest patent trolling, ever! That's one mighty list of "Infringements".

Aye, it should be in the guinness book.
tad2008 7th October 2009, 16:22 Quote
I think there should be a time limit on any supposed infringement for the company with the patent vs the "infringing" company.
Star*Dagger 7th October 2009, 16:41 Quote
Can not say without see the details of the case. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if MS and the others stole tech from some nobody and gave him nothing in return. The ascendancy of all of those defendants is strewn with such stories of raw deals and cheating.

Yours in Anti-Corporate cheating Plasma,
Star*Dagger
p3n 7th October 2009, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tad2008
I think there should be a time limit on any supposed infringement for the company with the patent vs the "infringing" company.

hahaha
(Patents don't last forever...)
smc8788 7th October 2009, 16:51 Quote
I'm still at a loss as to what this company actually does to make money when it's not suing people over a ridiculous, archaic patent. They'd probably be bankrupt if it wasn't for the bureaucrats at the US patent office.
Nicholas 7th October 2009, 16:57 Quote
If some people think that the company can't do it because its so WIDE SPREAD - think on this.

In the US the state of Colorado OWNS RAIN WATER - it is Illegal to set a barrel outside to "collect rain water."

This isn't the most bizarre thing to come across any of the named companies being accused of infringement.

Another note, tech firms such as Microsoft, Apple and I'm sure many others, are where they are at today because they cheated someone or stole something.

I'm glad someone has the balls to stand up to not just one - but SO MANY BIG NAMES! lol and at the same time!!!
perplekks45 7th October 2009, 17:01 Quote
They own the rights to making the internet interactive? Cool.
I didn't know you could own the rights to something like that but okay, if they own it they deserve their money.

FFS! CAN'T THEY JUST STOP DOING THAT?! IT'S OUTRAGEOUS!!!
thehippoz 7th October 2009, 17:22 Quote
pretty smart actually.. they do the patents- wait for people who actually do things to come along and use it.. they wouldn't last on survivor that's for sure lol starve to death- but they'd be good at telling everyone how to catch that fish!
mjm25 7th October 2009, 18:18 Quote
The patent was only issued to them this month, so they have rolled their sleeves up and sued straight away it seems.
TSR2 7th October 2009, 18:19 Quote
What's next? They'll sue the entire tech industry over an obscure patent they hold for wave soldering? True, some of these companies have done pretty bad things, but this is one David v Goliath fight that David's going to be flattened in.
Panos 7th October 2009, 19:06 Quote
Can someone explain then to me if I have to tell my boss tomorrow that I cannot use AJAX and Silverlight any more because we might get sued? lol

Scrap the patents now or else they should bring the big ones down to the floor. It's the only way to change that mentallity.
Ehm hold on. Had an idea about taxing breathing. See ya in court.
samkiller42 7th October 2009, 19:42 Quote
If that's their website pictured next to the article, what is it exactly they do? because i don't think i've seen a blander page, including the IE can't connect page, seriously, they need to bugger back off the the hole they have been sitting in the past 15 years and let everyone get on.

Sam
HourBeforeDawn 7th October 2009, 20:21 Quote
Quote:
"Not even the food and pornography industries - possibly closest to the heart of any true American - escape accusation, with PepsiCo-owned crisp manufacturer Frito-Lay and Playboy Enterprises also named in the suit."

was anyone else offended by this remark??? its like me saying... well Im sure you know the stereo types that the English have so I wont go over those but still come on not cool.
LucusLoC 7th October 2009, 21:12 Quote
here is the link to that patent itself: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,599,985.PN.&OS=PN/7,599,985&RS=PN/7,599,985

note that the patent was filed in 2002. also note that the patent is brad enough to apply to interactive frames in a web page. as far as i am concerned this is a patent for a basic concept of what the web is.

since the patent also has the stipulation "The method of claim 1 where automatically invoking does not require interactive action by the user." and method 1 is "A method for running an application program in a distributed hypermedia network environment, wherein the network environment comprises at least one client workstation and one network server coupled to the network environment, the method comprising: receiving, at the client workstation from the network server over the network environment, at least one file containing information to enable a browser application to display at least a portion of a distributed hypermedia document within a browser-controlled window; executing the browser application on the client workstation, with the browser application: responding to text formats to initiate processing specified by the text formats; displaying at least a portion of the document within the browser-controlled window; identifying an embed text format which corresponds to a first location in the document, where the embed text format specifies the location of at least a portion of an object external to the file, where the object has type information associated with it; utilizing the type information to identify and locate an executable application external to the file; and automatically invoking the executable application, in response to the identifying of the embed text format, to execute on the client workstation in order to display the object and enable an end-user to directly interact with the object while the object is being displayed within a display area created at the first location within the portion of the hypermedia document being displayed in the browser-controlled window. " it seems that this patent also covers any dynamic content, or probably any content accessed by a web page that is located on another computer.

TLDR: this patent is a description of one of the fundamental principles of the web. next thing you know they are going to patent "a way to hierarchically store files on a disk"
nicae 7th October 2009, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
"add fully-interactive embedded applications to their online offerings through the use of plug-in [sic] and AJAX web development techniques"
That's no [sic]...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepstreamer
Software patents, best invention ever.
QFT. Soon everyone will be sued over the SUM() function or something like that.
Mentai 7th October 2009, 22:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
Quote:
"Not even the food and pornography industries - possibly closest to the heart of any true American - escape accusation, with PepsiCo-owned crisp manufacturer Frito-Lay and Playboy Enterprises also named in the suit."

was anyone else offended by this remark??? its like me saying... well Im sure you know the stereo types that the English have so I wont go over those but still come on not cool.

I thought it was quite witty, are they not among your largest industries? But then I have been temp banned for anti Americanism on this website (which I thought was a little off being that I was paraphrasing an American friend but whatever).

On topic: Best patent troll in ages.
Xtrafresh 7th October 2009, 22:22 Quote
this is why they should stop giving out patents at all. What a load of crap. It's not even funny anymore, this is just about lawyers keeping eachother busy and their pockets filled. Shoot them. No trial, no jury, just shoot them in the nuts.
DXR_13KE 7th October 2009, 23:15 Quote
This wont end well.
C-Sniper 8th October 2009, 01:15 Quote
I think I am going to patent the process and mentality of patent trolls so I instantly own the rights to their process of business.
LordPyrinc 8th October 2009, 01:40 Quote
Quote:
According to an article over on DownloadSquad, the infamous company - which describes itself as an "Internet technology provider" - has filed suit in Texas this week to "assert the company's intellectual property rights based on two groundbreaking patents, including one that has passed two separate reexaminations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office."

Texas again???? Let me guess... Marshall, Texas? WTF is up with this one place where these patent trolls keep going to file their suits? Can someone say corruption?

The patent system is out of control and needs to be either completely overhauled or just obsoleted. Not sure which will end with the best result.
Aracos 8th October 2009, 03:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
Quote:
"Not even the food and pornography industries - possibly closest to the heart of any true American - escape accusation, with PepsiCo-owned crisp manufacturer Frito-Lay and Playboy Enterprises also named in the suit."

was anyone else offended by this remark??? its like me saying... well Im sure you know the stereo types that the English have so I wont go over those but still come on not cool.

I thought it was fricking hilarious! Nice to see they aren't afraid to do small digs at americans every once in a while, but if you have a problem with that let's sort it out by biiiiiiiiiiig huuuuuuuuuuugs \(^_^)/ (don't ask, I don't know why I felt the need to say a big hug....)
zimbloggy 8th October 2009, 03:15 Quote
This sounds like a classic case of patent abuse! Patent everything that moves and then see who you can sue!
ZERO <ibis> 8th October 2009, 03:17 Quote
Just wait until I finally cash in on my patent of air. It is a combination of a few elements in gas form made up of mostly oxygen and carbon dioxide humans and other mammals use a process called breathing to inhale this patented gas using a patented process I have developed using the lungs mouth nose and or blowhole.

When I complete this troll the world will at last be MINE!!
DarkLord7854 8th October 2009, 03:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
Can not say without see the details of the case. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if MS and the others stole tech from some nobody and gave him nothing in return. The ascendancy of all of those defendants is strewn with such stories of raw deals and cheating.

Yours in Anti-Corporate cheating Plasma,
Star*Dagger

Your posts are always entertaining, and always so misinformed.



Anyways, basically what they're saying is they patented the concept of the Web2.0, nice. Considering the technologies (AJAX) they quoted originate from the early 1990s, I have a hard time seeing how the f*ck they got a patent for this in 2002. Also, AJAX and other web technologies were coined by the W3C and last I checked, the W3C is compromised of over 300 companies, including Google, Yahoo, etc etc etc.

I wish software patents could all be destroyed, this is beyond ridiculous.
wiak 8th October 2009, 03:46 Quote
Eolas will be remembered as the new SCO? :P
dyzophoria 8th October 2009, 03:56 Quote
something has to be really done regarding these,lol, its sue him.. sue her.. sue the company.. sue the grandma.. I meaneverywhere..
Gareth Halfacree 8th October 2009, 05:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
was anyone else offended by this remark??? its like me saying... well Im sure you know the stereo types that the English have so I wont go over those but still come on not cool.
My apologies - no offence was intended. It was merely a sly comment regarding the fact that the adult industry in America grosses, on average, more than the mainstream film industry.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to brush my bowler hat and clean my monocle. Pip-pip!
HourBeforeDawn 8th October 2009, 05:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
My apologies - no offence was intended. It was merely a sly comment regarding the fact that the adult industry in America grosses, on average, more than the mainstream film industry.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to brush my bowler hat and clean my monocle. Pip-pip!

see if it was worded like that okay no worries, as for that comment about how porn in the US makes more then the film industry, I never could figure that out considering how much of it you could get for "free" on the internet (which by the way anyone watch the recent episode of Family Guy lol)

anyhow like most of these lawsuits it will either be dismissed or settled outside of court.
Bad_cancer 8th October 2009, 05:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
this is why they should stop giving out patents at all. What a load of crap. It's not even funny anymore, this is just about lawyers keeping eachother busy and their pockets filled. Shoot them. No trial, no jury, just shoot them in the nuts.

+1 this is soo ridiculous. seriously how is it justifiable to make money that easily? patent something that was developped 10years ago and then sue everyone who worked to make it?

:(:(
Shagbag 8th October 2009, 07:31 Quote
I do find it amusing to read the outcry over this when the silence was deafening over the recent SCO debacle.
Burnout21 8th October 2009, 08:41 Quote
what scum!
[USRF]Obiwan 8th October 2009, 08:52 Quote
[QUOTE=LordPyrinc]
Quote:

Texas again???? Let me guess... Marshall, Texas? WTF is up with this one place where these patent trolls keep going to file their suits? Can someone say corruption?

The patent system is out of control and needs to be either completely overhauled or just obsoleted. Not sure which will end with the best result.

You mention Texas. Let me explain to you why it is held here. Simply put, its just economics. The whole community over there is living from the patent business. Judges are from the region. Do not forget that judges are chosen in the US. Guess what judges the local community chooses? The ones that are supporting the local economics. This region has grown because of all those weird patent fights. Hotels where build, restaurants etc for the laywers and company people fighting each others wallet.

Then there is the patent:
1) To stimulate innovation
2) Protect the individual

It's flawed...
Dragunover 8th October 2009, 10:47 Quote
"and was issued to the company earlier this month."
Right. Let's just end the story there.
Chocobollz 8th October 2009, 16:43 Quote
What's with their company's name, it looks like they're founded in Middle-Earth LOL. Maybe it's founded by Frodo Baggins? :p
Horizon 8th October 2009, 16:59 Quote
If the tech has been in place for the past 10years. The patent will be dissolved due to prior art, unless they [Eolas] can prove that had developed the tech much earlier.
LucusLoC 8th October 2009, 21:00 Quote
patents *are* necessary. they encourage investors to invest in innovation. without protection of the intellectual property there is no guarantee of a return on investment. this works especially well for objects, such as the invention of the transistor, or the development of th integrated circuit. neither of those inventions would have happened if the inventors were not guaranteed to retain financial control of their ideas. did the patent discourage free use of the idea after the invention? absolutely, but looking it it from that perspective discounts the fact the the invention would have never come to be in the first place if investors had no incentive to finance the inventors in the first place. patents do encourage invention, because they protect the inventors financial interests, which gives them motivation to actually invent.

patenting *software,* on the other hand, is like patenting a plot device in a novel. "i am going to patent the plot twist where the main antagonist is the protagonists father." see the stupidity of that? it is like saying i am going to write a book, and no one can write a similar book, even if it is entirely original. it is for that reason that i think that software should only be allowed a copyright, and not a patent. copyrights cover duplication, not methodology. with software i can find a different way to do the same thing, and it is not trampling on your IP, if i copy code then it is.

should blizzard have a patent on MMOs? Should Corel (or Star) have a patent on word processing? that is silly. similarly patenting "interactive, dynamic web content" is silly.

this is not to say that patent and copyright laws are fin as is. they are not, and both need a massive overhaul. but we can't just say its borked, throw it all out, since the concept is necessary for progress.
general22 9th October 2009, 05:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobollz
What's with their company's name, it looks like they're founded in Middle-Earth LOL. Maybe it's founded by Frodo Baggins? :p

Hahaha thats exactly what I thought. Also this is the most hilarious patent suit I have ever seen.
str3732 9th October 2009, 11:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucusLoC
patents *are* necessary. they encourage investors to invest in innovation. without protection of the intellectual property there is no guarantee of a return on investment. this works especially well for objects, such as the invention of the transistor, or the development of th integrated circuit. neither of those inventions would have happened if the inventors were not guaranteed to retain financial control of their ideas. did the patent discourage free use of the idea after the invention? absolutely, but looking it it from that perspective discounts the fact the the invention would have never come to be in the first place if investors had no incentive to finance the inventors in the first place. patents do encourage invention, because they protect the inventors financial interests, which gives them motivation to actually invent.

patenting *software,* on the other hand, is like patenting a plot device in a novel. "i am going to patent the plot twist where the main antagonist is the protagonists father." see the stupidity of that? it is like saying i am going to write a book, and no one can write a similar book, even if it is entirely original. it is for that reason that i think that software should only be allowed a copyright, and not a patent. copyrights cover duplication, not methodology. with software i can find a different way to do the same thing, and it is not trampling on your IP, if i copy code then it is.

should blizzard have a patent on MMOs? Should Corel (or Star) have a patent on word processing? that is silly. similarly patenting "interactive, dynamic web content" is silly.

this is not to say that patent and copyright laws are fin as is. they are not, and both need a massive overhaul. but we can't just say its borked, throw it all out, since the concept is necessary for progress.

The patent protects the idea, whereas the R&D budget goes to the implementation. Hence when a company applies for a patent it forbids other companies from implementing it, or coming up with it, without paying a cut. You can patent things that you cant make. You wait for someone to do the work and then you go on an extortion expedition.

You can also patent the bleeding obvious, like the one click buy button. Truth being said the patents discourage innovation. This is proven historically. The industrial revolution worked for the most part without patent laws.

Would anyone consider writing some OFDM digital receiver software (802.11b, 802.11a, 802.16, DSL, DAB, DVB-T, DVB-S) when there are companies stateside that own 3000 patents on them. No matter what you set out to do, you will run afoul of them.

Investors need to invest money to make money. They will invest whether patents exist or not. Banks did finance factories and new businesses during the 1800s when the patent laws were non-existent.

The first patent troll was a lawyer in the USA. This gentleman found penniless people who invented various bits and bobs for cars. He bought their inventions and then sued car manufacturers for his cut. The thing is that he didn't invent anything himself, the defendants had thought of and developed their own bits and bobs. So he contributed nothing to their product. Yet he was asking for a cut, because he had patented the idea. When people act this way towards shops (asking for a cut) its considered a crime, its called extortion and its carries imprisonment sentences.

Having said all that, I sincerely hope that EOLAS gets awarded the maximum amount of damages from each defendant. The IT companies mentioned in the brief have all been awarded numerous frivolous patents, and personally I find it fair and heartwarming to see them on the business end of the barrel :)
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