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  • Apple "Embedded" in Another Lawsuit

    Image via Eolas


    Following suit - no pun intended - with the recent wave of legal battles begun by or involving Apple, Eolas Technologies is suing Apple (and nearly two dozen companies in all) for patent infringement. This is the same company that settled with Microsoft in another legal battle. So don't think Eolas doesn't have the muscle to rough-up the big boys.

    But do they have a case?

    According to Eolas -- an acronym for "embedded objects linked across systems" -- the patent awarded to the company in 1998 enabled browsers to act as platforms for interactive embedded web applications. Today this advanced browser technology provides rich interactive online experiences for more than a billion web users worldwide, the company said.
    As reported by Mark Long at Newsfactor.com, an Eolas win "could affect any web page using embedded interactive apps."

    If it ultimately proves true that all the big-name defendants in this case really are violating a patent deemed valid by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a significant consequence could result. The companies may reevaluate their stance on whether or not certain (or any) software should be patentable. That's the question at the heart of a case now being heard by the US Supreme Court.

    The Eolas court filing says all the defendants are infringing on one or both of its key patents by making, using, selling or importing "web pages and content Relevant Products/Services to be interactively presented in browsers." The lawsuit also singles out the apps of specific defendants as examples, including Abode Flash and Shockwave, Apple QuickTime and Safari, Google Chrome, and Sun's Java and JavaFX.
    Since details are only now surfacing about the suit, which was filed Tuesday, it seems that the people at Eolas simply want their cut of "what's fair." Eolas Chairman Michael Doyle put it this way: "Profiting from someone else's innovation Relevant Products/Services without payment is fundamentally unfair. All we want is what's fair."

    It's difficult to argue with that observation, but does it apply in this instance - particularly when it comes to Apple?

    For sure, this legal quagmire could prove a messy, prolonged, and undeniably complicated situation. As a result, the matter is likely to resolve itself in yet another out-of-court settlement victory for Eolas. Of course, that arrangement wouldn't address the bigger legal questions that prompted this snafu to begin with. And until the issues relating software patent violations are finally clarified in a legal proceeding, these problems are only bound to get worse before they get better.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple "Embedded" in Another Lawsuit started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. marius2's Avatar
      marius2 -
      interesting stuff
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      My first reaction to the headline was Apple was trying to sue Eolas cos they think an 'e' looks like an apple.lol

      btw, Eolas is also the Irish word for Information.
    1. djshway's Avatar
      djshway -
      ah im getting my weekly lawsuit news that has to do with apple. lol
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Eolas has been doing this forever, and is only out to get money. They previously attacked Microsoft for infringing on their "patent". This company holds a patent for running any active content inside a web page? Please. That's like being shown a wheel, then filing a patent on attaching that wheel to anything for any purpose. The main problem here is that people at the US Patent office need to be shot, and Eolas's patent needs to be torn up.

      For anyone who doesn't know, they're the reason that Microsoft implemented that stupid "click to activate" frame in IE6 and above. Look into it.

      They're milking this stupid patent for all it's worth, AFTER embedded content has been around for oh.. 11 years? These are the types of people God should smite.
    1. flix's Avatar
      flix -
      I like their motto: "Eolas - Invented here". Quite audacious from a patent troll. Here's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll">a quick read</a> for anyone who never heard the term.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That is so complicated. How the hell can you patent "the making, using, selling or importing "web pages"? I guess during hard time everybody trying to make a few bucks anyway they can.
    1. [AnubiS]'s Avatar
      [AnubiS] -
      Up until now I've never heard of eolas, how is that someone who "invented" such a patent doesn't have any more technological presence on the internet?. Just look at their web page seems like they haven't touched in years... there is nothing that you can say is "interactive" in there.
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      My first reaction to the headline was Apple was trying to sue Eolas cos they think an 'e' looks like an apple.lol

      btw, Eolas is also the Irish word for Information.

      hahahahahahhaha
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      The patent is garbage.
    1. RB6719's Avatar
      RB6719 -
      Patent Troll... I LIKE IT!
      Maybe it's just me but, in this age of technology shouldn't you have an actual product not just a vague concept to enforce your patent claim? All of the big companies named have actual products: Flash, Shockwave, Silverlight, Quicktime, Java. Products that people know and use. eolass has what? Oh yeah, patent applications!

      Does that mean that the independent programmer & web designer is next on the hit list? NO, because they don't have any money! Overall this just feels like a corporate shakedown - give us money for something you've been doing since the mid-90's because we signed the papers first instead of actually producing a product. BAH-HUMBUG!
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      wow.
      everybody's trying to get a piece of the pie
      yes.
      the apple pie
    1. domenicp's Avatar
      domenicp -
      The original patent should probably never have been granted. After all one could argue that HTML itself can be embedded interactive content... Click this hyperlink and up comes another page... Like Eolas came up with that.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mdc929 View Post
      everybody's trying to get a piece of the pie
      yes.
      the apple pie
      i lol'd
    1. daorigin's Avatar
      daorigin -
      that defendant list is way to big to be a hitlist to get money, they should be happy to get a penny... i hope someone hasn't patent breathing yet.
    1. nevarDeath's Avatar
      nevarDeath -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      My first reaction to the headline was Apple was trying to sue Eolas cos they think an 'e' looks like an apple.lol

      btw, Eolas is also the Irish word for Information.
      Haha me too!