Opinion: Eolas might just sue every last, lousy company in creation
Computerworld - Do you want to know why I hate patent trolls? Let me tell you about Eolas Technologies. This company claims that it creates and markets technologies. It doesn't.
Eolas, like other patent trolls, has taken an obvious idea, somehow managed to con the U.S. PTO (Patent and Trademark Office) into giving it a patent, and is now suing Adobe Systems, Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay and Amazon.com. Oh, and it's also suing Blockbuster, Frito-Lay, Office Depot, Sun, Playboy. (Playboy!?) and 10 other companies.
Eolas claims that these companies have all violated its U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906 ('906 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 7,599,985 ('985 patent). And, as these patents are written, they have all violated them.
Actually, maybe it's not the patent trolls I hate so much as it is the U.S. patent system, which has approved the mindlessly simple idea that you can start a program from a Web page. Eloas' patents have been upheld by the brain-dead PTO at least three times now by my count. That's despite the fact that no less a figure than Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, sent a letter to the PTO in 2003 presenting what he said was prior art that should invalidate Eolas' '906 patent.
Heck, I was the first guy to write about the Web in a popular publication, back in 1993, and I knew then that the Web was going to be used for more than just hypertext. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, about the idea that you can start a program to view non-text content from a Web browser that's patent-worthy.
The early Web browser Viola, which dates to 1992, was the first Web browser I know of that included the ability to call up programs to display non-text data. Eolas, which has never released a Web browser or a program of its own that I know of, claims that it didn't even show its idea until 1993. Eolas didn't apply for a patent until Oct 17, 1994. By that time, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina had released Mosaic, the first popular Web browser, and the immediate ancestor of both Netscape and Internet Explorer. Guess what? You could call other programs in to render data Mosaic couldn't handle as well.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts