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Eolas To Sue Apple, Google, and 21 Others

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the foaming-cleanser dept.

Patents 252

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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252 comments

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29663573)

Death to the Oppressors!

Do not feed trolls! (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663577)

It seems some judges forget to obey the internet rules...

Re:Do not feed trolls! (3, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663905)

Rule 34 on the judges? No thanks.

Re:Do not feed trolls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664001)

All I want to say to these guys is:

"Good luck with that you fucking douchebags! Hope your asses get raped by rabid bears!"

Dear, Microsoft (1, Funny)

just someone (13587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663597)

Indemnity, please.

Re:Dear, Microsoft (1)

MarkLR (236125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663625)

Maybe if you use IE and Silverlight on a Windows PC. Flash on Chrome in a Linux machine is going cost you!

Re:Dear, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29663823)

Flash on Chrome in a Linux machine is going cost you!
Not likely. THey are suing large companies with DEEP pockets.

How about Visual Studio (1)

just someone (13587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663835)

MS is not on the list... so one assumes that they are some type of agreement in place.

I'm just assuming that the developers who use MS products, would get some type of protection... Isn't that what MS has always said.

Re:How about Visual Studio (3, Funny)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664225)

I'm just assuming that the developers who use MS products, would get some type of protection... Isn't that what MS has always said.

Like keyboard and mouse condoms? Or does a full body condom arrive in the mail with every visual studio purchase?

Re:How about Visual Studio (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Can someone please explain? (3, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663599)

What the hell does this mean?

a newly issued patent that they claim covers the use of any browser plugin with AJAX

What do plugins and AJAX have to do with each other? Are they saying you can't build a browser that supports AJAX? I don't understand what the patent is for.

Re:Can someone please explain? (5, Funny)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663631)

It means that, once again, the USPTO's employee drug-testing policy has failed us all.

Re:Can someone please explain? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663907)

Just the opposite. If you're high, you're going to read their patent app, chuckle, grab a handful of cheetoes, and throw it in a box never to be seen from again.

Re:Can someone please explain? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663645)

The case against MS was even more tenuous yet it seemed to have no trouble getting through the courts.

Where's the patent? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663717)

Can someone link this this "985 patent"? I can't find it linked in any article on this subject. Why do major media never link to anything?

Re:Where's the patent? (4, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663763)

Can someone link this this "985 patent"? I can't find it linked in any article on this subject. Why do major media never link to anything?

Uh, looks like they did link it at the end, you just have to RTFA:

US Patent 7,599,985 [uspto.gov] for a "Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document"

Re:Where's the patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29663843)

"Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document"

Good thing "hypermedia" does not exist.

Re:Where's the patent? (2)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663947)

I just read that and it sounds like a patent for Javascript..

Re:Where's the patent? (2)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664137)

I just read that and it sounds like a patent for Javascript..

or HTML

Re:Where's the patent? (5, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664123)

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.

HTML... not SGML (1)

just someone (13587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664677)

They say HTML in the patent.... who know what a well thinking judge will think of a SGML derivative like HTML

And OTHER prior art ... (1)

hackster (322177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664727)

As other prior art examples consider Apple's own Hypertext ... or Xerox Viewpoint software, which was a document frame embedding executable objects like graphics, tables, spreadsheets, etc ... at the very least it would appear Hypertext was a precursor of the browser and of the mechanisms being claimed by these patents ... both of these date from the mid 1980's (perhaps even earlier for Viewpoint).

Please contact Apple and Google and so on (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664729)

I'm not kidding, shoot them an e-mail letting them know you worked on this, with some links to relevant details. They may blow you off, but if the mail gets to the right person, they'll be very interested.

Re:Where's the patent? (1)

gogowater (913090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663799)

985 patent = patent to nowhere.

Re:Can someone please explain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664197)

Well Gears is the only thing i can think of being AJAX + Plugin related.
And even that is a far stretch.

Also, going by the patent, doesn't ActiveX pre-date it?
2002 was the patent date, anyone know when ActiveX was capable of XHR?

Re:Can someone please explain? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664659)

This company's earlier suit against MSFT alleged that ActiveX was the part of IE that infringed on this patent. So I don't believe it does.

Re:Can someone please explain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664201)

So wait, are they suing much older companies for 10 years old stuff on a new patent? Is it like, begging for death or something

And then (5, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663611)

...people still scream in joy in this place whenever MS gets sued by some patent troll.... without knowing that this only leads to:

1- Other will be sued if they succeed.

2- MS, Abble and others will get more and more defensive patents..

So here we go...

Re:And then (3, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664055)

Dude, seriously? "Abble?"

Re:And then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664395)

As far as I can tell, El Lobo is essentially twitter's anti-Apple counterpart.

Re:And then (4, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664505)

Lay off him, man. Would you make fun of someone with a speech impediment? A typing impediment is much worse.

Re:And then (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664767)

I think they meant VbblG

Re:And then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664181)

people still scream in joy in this place whenever MS gets sued by some patent troll.

Link, please. I think you're making that up, and just about everyone defended Microsoft.

Re:And then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664603)

Are you kidding? At least 50% of posters here were too dumb to understand this patent also affected their favorite browser.

(And that's excluding all the cave-dwelling primitives that want to roll all technology back to some pristine early-90s state when web pages weren't interactive.)

technology judges (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

I used to work for patent lawyers (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663935)

Yup, it's true. I did IT work for a group of them back when I was in college. I was "team one", and they had some other guys who were "team two". We helped them in shifts.

One day I got a phone call.

It was one of the lawyers. He couldn't log on. "The box under my computer is missing."

Ah, I think. Those wily rascals in Team 2 snagged his UPS or his power strip and didn't replace it. No biggie. I'll buy a power strip and scoot on over.

I look under his desk.

His PC is missing.

The cords to his monitor, mouse, and keyboard were dangling in space and he sat there typing away wondering why he couldn't "log on".

I apologize for the nightmares, heebie-jeebies, and general loss of sleep you'll have from my story. Yes folks, these are the people in charge of our livelihood.

We're screwed.

!eulas (4, Funny)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663639)

For a second I read that as "EULAs To Sue Apple, Google, and 21 Others"...oh, the irony.

The Solution! (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664781)

Let me know if you figure out a way patent the EULA and sue everyone who uses one. I'm sure the lawyers would love the recursion. It'd be like a perpetual money machine.

Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (3, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663655)

I think we've hit the breaking point for software patents. The i4i suit was the first real big patent case I can remember (disclaimer, I have a short memory), especially due to the number of people affected - not just users, but retailers like Dell (according to them). This one ought to make everyone say "enough is enough".

[/fingers_crossed]

Re:Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663761)

This one ought to make everyone say "enough is enough".

As long as the licensing costs are less than the litigation costs, I don't think anyone's going to say that.

Re:Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29663779)

The i4i case was MS being naughty. They contracted a job to them, but used the product in a way not allowed. They weren't patent trolls.

Re:Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664031)

They patented one of the most obvious uses of XML, if not the most obvious use.

That is patent trolling.

Re:Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663955)

The question is: Will it be enough?

There is a whole system in front of us that basically don't get it. They think software engineering is much like regular engineering, and this idea has to vanish before we can get anywhere. And you know how good are computer scientists at communicating with others.... So getting the message to them might prove to be a slow process.

I am afraid we're not there yet...

Re:Everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it (3, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664021)

Yeah, 'cept with the i4i case, they actually /did/ have a patient, and Microsoft actually /did/ break the law and steal their code after working with them. They weren't actually patent trolls, though Microsoft did a great job painting them that way.

Fuck Eolas (3, Insightful)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663703)

This is the type of scum of the earth shit that ruins productivity, innovation, and increases costs for every other consumer. Everyone wants to throw CEO's in jail yet these douche bags don't do ANYTHING productive for society. At least CEO's try and make their companies profitable(by providing services to consumers), even if it is just to cash in stock options.

Talk about the ultimate drain on society being upheld by the government... we need to vote against the judges and politicians that allow this to happen under their watch. GET OUT AND VOTE AGAINST THIS!! It will lower the cost of doing business and consequently the cost of goods and services. It will make these lawyers get out of the legal system for frivolous shit and back to doing something productive for society.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663753)

Eolas is not the bad guy here, they're just doing what is legally possible. You can't condemn a company for following the law, just because it seems wrong.

The problem obviously is the patent law. I have no idea if the US is willing to change that, but if they do, it will be the end of shit like Eolas is pulling right now as well.

Re:Fuck Eolas (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663821)

No, they are the bad guy. The laws suck, and the guys using the laws to hold the software world hostage to moronic demands are bad guys.

What I'm finally waiting for is the other shoe to drop and guys like Microsoft to finally admit that software patents are just plain bad. The industry is becoming increasingly hostile to new development.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663853)

The industry has been hostile to new development for years. Eolas MAY end up being the best guys possible. The reason is that they will get the patent laws looked at for what they are: INSANE. All that is needed is for more of the companies to hit Senators, Congressmen AND Obama, and then MAYBE, just MAYBE, we can get a sane solution.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664337)

Don't hold your breath. I can't think of a sane solution that's come out of the Federal Government in my lifetime. I have seen so-called "solutions" but sane is simply not the word I would use.

Re:Fuck Eolas (5, Interesting)

sofar (317980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663977)

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."

Re:Fuck Eolas (5, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663827)

Eolas is not the bad guy here, they're just doing what is legally possible. You can't condemn a company for following the law, just because it seems wrong.

Morality is not defined by law.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663895)

Morality is not defined by law.

And corporate charters are not generally defined by morality. That is why the laws exist.

Mal-2

Re:Fuck Eolas (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664047)

Morality is not defined by law.

Nope. But you can generally assume that if something is legal, and profitable, somebody will do it. That's why you have to fix the law. If your only argument is "But it's immoral!", sooner or later you'll find somebody who says, "So what?"

Today, that's Eolas. And yeah, it makes them bad guys. But you can't fix the problem by removing the bad guys; other equally bad guys will pop up. You have to fix the law so that it's no longer profitable to break it.

Re:Fuck Eolas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664665)

But the law is already supposed to protect against spurious lawsuits and over-general or obvious inventions.
And Eolas is a silly name, as I keep filling in consonants to get Legolas. And that fucking logo. Another one to add to the Atph@bet.

Re:Fuck Eolas (3, Interesting)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Ho Legolas, Eolas! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664421)

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

Yeah, but any lawyer that is worth their salt would be able to argue that it is their honest opinion that there is factual basis for the claim. After all, if there wasn't dissent about the validity of the claim, it would be settled out of court.

Re:Ho Legolas, Eolas! (0, Troll)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664661)

Not necessarily. I could file suit that you stole my house. This is a baseless and invalid claim... just because I filed it (lets say with a great lawyer) does not mean there is any validity to the claim. While it is true that in this case a lawyer could easily argue that there is some basis, the truth is that the lawyer knows there isn't. This is of course impossible to prove and thus nothing will change. The lawyer gets paid, the company keeps filing suits until one wins.

The point is that this is under the SPIRIT of the law this suit is illegal and definitely immoral/unethical. I am of course assuming the lawyers know this is a bullshit suit. If they don't then the company hold all the blame. I don't think its reasonable to assume that not a lawyer or employee of Eolas knows that this is a fraud. Proving that in a court may be impossible but that doesn't mean they aren't breaking various laws.

Just because no one can prove I sped today doesn't mean I didn't.

The problem here is of the legal system's inability to handle malicious lawsuit of ANY type. The high payout of civil suits these days has created predatory lawyers that can prey on individuals and companies that know its easier to settle than fight it out. The legal systems lack of a way to fight this behavior at a reasonable cost, without hiring the very people that profit from the behavior. Even the 'good' lawyers are profiting equally off of these suits.

Legal != moral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29663899)

It's not illegal for Eolas to hire someone to walk up to people on the street and telling them they're idiots. "Not illegal" does not mean "appropriate". Try again.

As for "condemn[ing] a company for following the law", no one said that it's wrong that they follow the law, but it does not therefore follow that everything not specifically forbidden by law is ethical or appropriate.

Re:Fuck Eolas (5, Insightful)

knarf (34928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663931)

Eolas is not the bad guy here, they're just doing what is legally possible. You can't condemn a company for following the law, just because it seems wrong.

Slave owners were not the bad guys, they were just doing what was legally possible...

...

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664371)

You can't blame people for making money within the boundaries of the law. If this leads to undesirable results, the law is broken and needs to be fixed, simple as that. People will then stop their undesirable acts, either by themselves or by force. Blaming this situation on Eolas is putting things really way, way too simplistic.

Re:Fuck Eolas (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664553)

Why should we decide? I blame he law *and* Eolas.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664635)

You can't blame people for making money within the boundaries of the law. If this leads to undesirable results, the law is broken and needs to be fixed, simple as that. People will then stop their undesirable acts, either by themselves or by force. Blaming this situation on Eolas is putting things really way, way too simplistic.

You can't legislate everything, all laws have unintended consequences and ambiguities which is why we still have people interpreting law in first place. The law may be bad but it definitely wasn't meant for this bull. "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664821)

"You can't blame people for making money within the boundaries of the law. "

Yes, I can and I do.

Ug (2, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663987)

No, Eolas is a shit head. He just happens to live in a society where shit heads who are wealthy through immoral work are tolerated. I can and do absolutely condemn companies who violate the spirit but not the letter of laws for material gain. Patent laws do need to be changed, but so does our attitude towards companies that operate entirely in the grey area of legal loopholes.

Your moral reasoning in this situation is no different from the assholes who market overpriced pens to senior citizens, or con poor people out of their land with loans they don't understand. Just because something is technically legal doesn't make it right. And defending asswipes like Eolas and Skilling makes you part of the problem, not of the solution.

And you'll quickly see a problem developing for patent law. There need to be new laws established, because the speed at which technology has developed has made nearly all legal thought on the subject obsolete.

Certainly an inventor ought to be allowed a right to the benefit of his invention for some certain time. It is equally certain it ought not to be perpetual; for to embarrass society with monopolies for every utensil existing, and in all the details of life, would be more injurious to them than had the supposed inventors never existed; because the natural understanding of its members would have suggested the same things or others as good. How long the term should be is the difficult question. Our legislators have copied the English estimate of the term, perhaps without sufficiently considering how much longer, in a country so much more sparsely settled, it takes for an invention to become known and used to an extent profitable to the inventor. Nobody wishes more than I do that ingenuity should receive a liberal encouragement." --Thomas Jefferson

Re:Fuck Eolas (2, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664271)

Eolas is not the bad guy here, they're just doing what is legally possible. You can't condemn a company for following the law, just because it seems wrong.

The problem obviously is the patent law. I have no idea if the US is willing to change that, but if they do, it will be the end of shit like Eolas is pulling right now as well.

Law corrupters are worse than law breakers. It's their slimey, vile ilk that cause tax law to be unreadable, because "12% of your income" is too difficult a concept for them to be honest about. They ignore the part about "Congress shall have power ... to promote the progress of science and useful arts" and move directly to "securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" -- which this tripe didn't actually invent, they just thought it up!

They are technological stumbling blocks and stiflers, looking to make a buck, not promote progress, off of the patent system. They should go to jail for extortion and theft of +$500m and so should the judge that awarded it, for conspiracy. A judge should look at the patent case, say "Your argument does not promote the progress of science and useful arts, therefore, by nature of my office and the oath I've sworn an oath to agree with the constitution, so therefore, I cannot allow this bullsh*t to stain an American courtroom" and throw the case out.

Re:Fuck Eolas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664485)

Eolas is not the bad guy here, they're just doing what is legally possible.

Those two things have nothing to do with each other.

By your logic, it is a good thing to taser teenagers with broken backs because they won't stand up when you tell them to.
After all, the good guys [wnd.com] did it, and nothing illegal or wrong was deemed to have happened.

By the same logic, you think only the good guys own slaves? After all, that was (and in some countries, *IS*) legal.

You sick sick fuck you, thinking its good to violently attack and torture children that you buy and sell!!

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

The Outlander (1279696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664549)

There are lots of things that you can do that are legal, it doesn't mean you should. Doing things just because they are legal is what has brought us to this fucked up point in time where everyone screws everyone just so they can make enough money from the court case to pay the guy thats screwing them. Its fucking sick

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664733)

Are you a sociopath?

Because that's what it sounds like. I can blame people for acting like shit regardless of the law.

Re:Fuck Eolas (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664771)

You can't condemn a company for following the law, just because it seems wrong.

Wanna bet? Legal != ethical. I can give you a whole host of examples where something might be ethical but not legal and vice versa.

Argh, not again! (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663743)

These are the spawn of Satan that forced the whole web to change the way they embed Flash movies [wikipedia.org] , among other things.

Re:Argh, not again! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663937)

Could you explain a bit more? That Wiki article doesn't mention what exactly had to change due to patents...

Re:Argh, not again! (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664025)

Sorry, should have also mentioned this, which is what SWFObject is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eolas#Workarounds [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Argh, not again! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664145)

Ah, thanks. Talk about a trivial workaround...

Re:Argh, not again! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664165)

IE had to change Flash movies to a "click to play" configuration-- not necessarily a bad thing, really. Other browser makers generally didn't bother, since Eolas didn't sue them.

Note that it didn't take long for the guys who made SWFObject to figure out how to embed Flash media legally and still make it auto-play, and virtually everybody uses SWFObject, so now "click to play" is mostly obsolete.

Re:Argh, not again! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664087)

That "click to activate this control" was the last straw that made me dump IE for good.

Hit Squad (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663851)

For much less than 500 million, you can probably get a very discreet and effective hit squad to take out the entire management of Eolas and the attorneys too.

They would probably do the attorneys for free.

Re:Hit Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664135)

I would take the job.

What can I say? Some bloodbaths are actually soothing to the soul.

Silver is expensive (5, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664459)

They would probably do the attorneys for free.

This is a common misconception. Actually they charge extra, because of all the hawthorn bullets and garlic they have to use.

Re:Silver is expensive (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664511)

Mod this man up!

Re:Hit Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664567)

Where is Blackwater [wikipedia.org] when you need them?

Re:Hit Squad (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664571)

"Do the attorneys for free?" Ha! I'd give a discount. I can see the invoice now

+$500M = cost to neutralise senior leadership team
-$200M = discount for allowing us to neutralise the legal team
----------
+$300M = total amount owing on this invoice, contact our payments dep't for easy terms

Re:Hit Squad (4, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664681)

Wiping out a patent troll only after they've extorted money from Microsoft: priceless

Re:Hit Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664609)

They would probably do the attorneys for free.

No one "does" attorneys for free. They charge attorneys.

Honest question. (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29663889)

If you are able to sue 23 corporations that are also competitors for infringing on your patent, doesn't that pretty much mean it's an obvious, non-unique patent & should be thrown out?

Re:Honest question. (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664073)

Naw, only one of them actually infringed. But Eolas will be damned to tell us which one. We'll let the American justice system sort it out.

Re:Honest question. (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664125)

no, it means that those 23 companies all copied the same original infringing implementation.
There's not a whole lot of new ideas in the web browser market - and when someone has one, everyone else implements it.
It would be very easy for a large number to all be infringing on a patent. (Not that I'm making any particular claim about the validity of this specific patent)

Re:Honest question. (1)

HannethCom (585323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664149)

No, your thinking Canadian patent law. This is the US patent system that is being talked about. One we considered merging with and part of the official report that recommended against it described the US Patent System as being a joke. Something completely impractical. I understand there is an obvious clause in the US patent system, but it is so hard to meet that criteria that it basically doesn't exist.

I can't find the link, but someone trying to prove a point about how bad the US patent system is put in an application for patent on the if else combination in programming languages. He wasn't expecting to get it, but it was granted to him.

I am sick of this Sue Culture (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664011)

If people stopped moaning instead of suing each other, we might make some progress. Really they are behaving like little children who have had some candy taken off them. I say develop, be inspired and when the "Big Guns" have stopped fighting, they will realise they have missed the boat after all their petty wranglings. This quote from Spike Millgan is quite appropriate here - "MONEY CANNOT BUY YOU FRIENDS, HOWEVER, IT DOES GET YOU A BETTER CLASS OF ENEMY".

Buy the company (2, Insightful)

Rangataua (820853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664019)

I wonder how much it would cost to simply buy 51% of Eolas? If the shares are publicly traded, with 23 companies being sued it might even be possible for them to buy a small share parcel each without too much notice.

Re:Buy the company (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664151)

Buy the company and do what? Sorry but due to various responsibilities, Google, Apple, etc. would more than likely be legally forced to keep the patents and keep trying to sue (Eolas being a patent troll has no real assets other than BS patents) to make the investment worthwhile for its shareholders.

not true. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664237)

Buy the company and do what? Sorry but due to various responsibilities, Google, Apple, etc. would more than likely be legally forced to keep the patents and keep trying to sue (Eolas being a patent troll has no real assets other than BS patents) to make the investment worthwhile for its shareholders.

If none of them own a controlling share the only reasonable expectations from investors would be the nullification of the mutual threat to their companies.

Without a controlling share, no individual among the group would be able to wield it unilaterally, and anti-trust law would prevent collusion.

I think buying them out and replacing the management or liquidating the company would be an excellent idea.

Re:Buy the company (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664327)

They would be the shareholders. It's a hostile takeover, they'd be the majority holders and can vote and direct the company how they wish. Many a public company have been bought with intention to sink it.

Re:Buy the company (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664425)

I wonder how much it would cost to simply buy 51% of Eolas?

Eolas is one guy (and his investors). Buying him out and settling the lawsuits would cost the same amount.

Re:Buy the company (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664545)

I wonder how much it would cost to simply buy 51% of Eolas?

Eolas is one guy (and his investors). Buying him out and settling the lawsuits would cost the same amount.

Last time I checked the going rate for a "sloppy" job was 5k, I think they can spare considerably more than that to make it clean and untraceable.

Natural habitat of the patent troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664291)

Search for "eastern district" on page:

# Search PACER for case number 6:09-cv-00446 in the eastern district of Texas

If anyone invented a faster way to recognize patent trolls the world would beat a path to their door (and then sue for patent infringement).

Wasn't it supposed to be MS only? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664303)

I can't recall the specifics now, but when Eolas sued MS over their other patent in the past, didn't they try to come out as the "good guys" by claiming that they will only pursue patent claims against Big Bad MS, and won't go after alternative browsers?

Of course (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664503)

And the people that fell for it are idiots, or at least very naive. People who operate like this are NOT good people. They are not interested in the public good. They are interested in lining their pockets. There's no other reason to try and troll with patents.

It is one thing if you have a company that really makes products. They may have legit reasons for going forward with a patent case, even if the patent in question is kinda silly (they also may not). After all, they have a real market they are trying to protect. However the "IP firms"? They are 100% worthless. Their only reason to exist is to milk money from companies, they produce -nothing-.

As such if you get any "good guy" claims from them, well they are bullshit.

Hotjava (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664389)

Who else remembers hotjava, available on the internet from Dec 1994? Now, although that's just after the filing of the original patent, the development took place before the filing date. Sun would seem to be a good place to start looking for prior art, especially if anything pertaining to the technical details were publically announced or made available before then.

Here is another sleeper IP patent troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664479)

This

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=fb6475b9d6e027cf1bee9a6e9edd9c76e04e75f6e8ebb871

is a potentially disruptive set of IP being trolled, although not nearly so effectively as that of Eolas. Covers at least as many web infrastructure operations as the Eolas IP. Think Bilski won't touch this, as Bilski's attack point was the "abstract idea" problem, whereas this discusses algorithms running on hardware, which would lead to the change in state of a real machine that the Bilski judicial review seems to want.

Oh please, let it kill all the garbage plugins. (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 4 years ago | (#29664783)

I approve of Eolas in the same way I approve of nuclear weapons; horrible destructive ability that should only be unleashed on the worst possible garbage in the world.
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