U.S. Court Rules Disputed Web Patent Claim Is Invalid
2:13 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
A US court has upheld a decision to invalidate a tech firm's claim to own technologies underpinning the web.
Eolas's claims revolved around a series of patents it had been using to extract licence fees from hi-tech firms such as Microsoft and Oracle. However, Eolas's claims were disputed by many others including web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The ruling will also mean an end to many other lawsuits Eolas mounted against hi-tech firms.
A US Appeals court in Washington has upheld a decision made in Texas in February 2012 that initially invalidated Eolas's patents.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee testified at that original Texas trial and said that if Eolas's patent claims were upheld it would "substantially impair the usability of the web". The broad patents cover many familiar features of webpages including playing videos, responding to user input and manipulating images. U.S. Court Rules Disputed Web Patent Claim Is Invalid [bbc.co.uk]
4:11 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
Whoa! About time this all was settled. I, too, found the patent claims iffy, although not without grounds.
4:18 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
Outstanding! Now will all those companies screwed for licence fees by Eolas get them back?
4:25 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
Now will all those companies screwed for licence fees by Eolas get them back?
4:31 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
He wasn't going to win his fight even if he owned the internet, the good of millions have to be placed ahead of the good of his bank account in this case. I do feel for him if his patents are legitimate but to have run around throwing lawsuits at as many major companies as he could wasn't a bright idea imo. As they say you need to pick your fights and know when to avoid them, it sounds like he wanted to take on everyone.. or at least his lawyers did(shocker).
7:07 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
If there is any legitimacy is such broad claims its a flaw in the patent system (one of many!).
He was pushing the boundaries of how wide you can make a patent, and making dubious claims (there was prior art).
The end result he has become very rich from taking out patents that were eventually ruled invalid, and which should never have been allowed in the first place - no need to feel for him.
9:20 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
I never understand the USA patent system, they seem the grant the most obvious things even if there is prior use. As I said said in another thread, still waiting for someone to patent the numbers 0-9 ! Next up the presentation of images on a monitor ! Well someone invented the concept !
I just don't get it.
8:51 am on Jul 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
An Australian lawyer manage to patent the wheel by wrapping up the application in the right language. AFAIK he has not attempted to enforce the patent.
The patent system needs drastic reform, and not just in the US either. One problem is that a system that was devised to provide an incentive to people inventing mechanical devices has been unthinkingly extended to electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, software and even business methods.
The other problem is that the obviousness criterion has been weakened.
It is hard to change because it has made a lot of people rich, so they lobby against reform.