Last year, when the patent office rejected the claims in Eolas' browser plugin patent, Eolas quickly turned around and said that this was standard procedure and the eventual ruling would come out in their favor. It looks like they might be correct. The patent office indicated today that they're going to uphold the Eolas patent, which could mean that Microsoft could be in a bit of trouble (nothing a lot of cash won't solve, but still...). This is a perfect example of ridiculous patents in action -- and everyone will suffer for it, either by forcing browsers to be less useful or by making other products more expensive. Again, this isn't a situation where someone came up with an idea that was "stolen," but that those who were doing the actual innovating came up with the obvious next step, only to find someone sitting around claiming they owned a patent on that obvious concept.
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