Eolas Scores New Browser Interactivity Patent And Sues....Everyone

<a href="http://www.eolas.com">Eolas Technologies</a> has announced a new patent infringement suit, the defendants of which reads like a Who's Who list of big tech and consumer brands. Eolas is the company that filed a patent infringement suit and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eolas#Litigation">ultimately prevailed</a> over Microsoft for the latter's inclusion of plug-in capability into Internet Explorer. In today's lawsuit, Eolas says that Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Google, Sun, eBay and man

David Berlind, Chief Content Officer, UBM TechWeb

October 6, 2009

6 Min Read

Eolas Technologies has announced a new patent infringement suit, the defendants of which reads like a Who's Who list of big tech and consumer brands. Eolas is the company that filed a patent infringement suit and ultimately prevailed over Microsoft for the latter's inclusion of plug-in capability into Internet Explorer. In today's lawsuit, Eolas says that Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Google, Sun, eBay and many others (complete list below) are infringing on a patent awarded just this month (that didn't take long!).The press release just crossed my desk from Mike Androvett, public relations counsel to the law firm McKool Smith who represents Eolas and names the following companies as defendants (in alpha order):

Adobe Amazon Apple Argosy Publishing Blockbuster CDW Corp. CitiGroup eBay Frito-Lay Inc. The GoDaddy Group, Inc. Google (including YouTube) J.C. Penney Co., Inc. JP Morgan Chase & Co. New Frontier Media, Inc. Office Depot Inc. Perot Systems Corp. Playboy Enterprises International Rent-A-Center Inc. Staples, Inc. Sun Microsystems, Inc. Texas Instruments, Inc. Yahoo, Inc.

There's not much information beyond the press release so I'm going to regurgitate it for you here (UPDATE: InformationWeek's Paul McDougall has now published a news report providing additional detail):

Eolas Technologies Files Infringement Lawsuit

TYLER, Texas - Internet technology provider Eolas Technologies Inc. is announcing a Texas federal lawsuit filed today 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 (USPTO) and resulted in a $565 million federal court judgment in 2004. Eolas Technologies conducts leading-edge research and development to create innovative technologies in data analysis, visualization, collaboration and networking. During the past 15 years, Eolas' innovations have enabled corporations around the world to enhance their products and improve their customers' website experiences. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, includes claims related to two Eolas patents, U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906 ('906 Patent) and U.S. Patent No. 7,599,985 ('985 Patent). The '906 Patent embodies technology first demonstrated publicly in 1993, enabling Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications. This advanced browser technology provides rich interactive online experiences for more than a billion Web users worldwide. The Patent Office granted the '906 Patent in November 1998. The '906 Patent was the subject of prior litigation against Microsoft Corp. that resulted in a 2004 federal judgment of more than $565 million in favor of Eolas. The USPTO has affirmed the validity of the '906 Patent in three separate proceedings, including two patent reexaminations, the most recent of which concluded in February 2009. The '985 Patent is a continuation of the '906 patent, and allows websites to add fully-interactive embedded applications to their online offerings through the use of plug-in and AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) web development techniques. The Patent Office issued the '985 Patent in October 2009. Dr. Michael D. Doyle, chairman of Eolas, says the lawsuit is an effort to protect the company's patented technology. "Intellectual property is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. The primary reason for this has been the success of the U.S. patent system in allowing the innovative company in a field to develop and market its new inventions without having competitors unfairly profit from the innovator's hard work," says Dr. Doyle. "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. Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair. All we want is what's fair." Mike McKool, head of the national law firm McKool Smith and lead counsel for Eolas, says he hopes the lawsuit will put an end to the widespread unauthorized use of the company's technology patents. "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," says Mr. McKool. The lawsuit includes some of the world's leading companies based on their unlicensed use of the Eolas patents in websites and other products. The companies named as defendants include San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE); Seattle-based Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN); Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL); Newton, Mass.-based Argosy Publishing Inc.; Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI); Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW Corp.; New York-based Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C); San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY); Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay Inc. [a subsidiary of Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP)]; Scottsdale, Ariz.-based The Go Daddy Group Inc.; Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG); Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP); New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM); Boulder, Colo.-based New Frontier Media Inc. (NASDAQ: NOOF); Delray Beach, FL-based Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP); Plano, Texas-based Perot Systems Corp. (NYSE: PER); Chicago, Ill.-based Playboy Enterprises International Inc. (NYSE: PLA); Plano, Texas-based Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII); Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS); Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA); Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN); Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO); and San Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube LLC, a subsidiary of Google Inc.

David Berlind is the chief content officer of TechWeb and editor-in-chief of TechWeb.com. David likes to write about emerging tech, new and social media, mobile tech, and things that go wrong and welcomes comments, both for and against anything he writes. He can be reached at [email protected] and you also can find him on Twitter and other social networks (see the list below). David doesn't own any tech stocks. But, if he did, he'd probably buy some Salesforce.com and Amazon, given his belief in the principles of cloud computing and his hope that the stock market can't get much worse. Also, if you're an out-of-work IT professional or someone involved in the business of compliance, he wants to hear from you.

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David Berlind

Chief Content Officer, UBM TechWeb

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