How The Eolas Patent Ruling Could Work To Microsoft's Advantage

from the more-bad-patents dept

Back when the Eolas patent ruling first came out, I pointed out how ridiculous it was that every browser was going to need to change the way they operate (a) for doing something that was obvious with tons of prior art and (b) because of a small company that never actually did anything to innovate themselves. While many people initially “cheered” a Microsoft loss, that may have been shortsighted. The latest column from David Berlind even suggests this ruling could be good for Microsoft. They could be forced to remove all plug-ins from Internet Explorer – but they can build in their own technologies instead. So, suddenly Quicktime and RealPlayer won’t work anymore – but Microsoft’s Windows Media Player becomes part of the browser itself.

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Comments on “How The Eolas Patent Ruling Could Work To Microsoft's Advantage”

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Patrick says:

media player integration?

“Microsoft’s Windows Media Player becomes part of the browser itself”

This seems questionable. After all, didn’t the ruling on IE/Windows indicate the browser was a separate application? Seems like media player integration would just touch off another lawsuit with similar results. Also, 3rd party plugins/players are freely available; under this logic–with the agreement of adobe, real media, etc–they could also be integrated directly into the browser to bypass the patent.

Tony Lawrence (user link) says:

Are you forgetting

Are you forgetting that while the holder of the patent said he wouldn’t license to Microsoft for any amount of money, he didn’t say he wouldn’t license other browsers?

It remains to be seen whether he intends to be a Robin Hood, wants to compete with IE directly, or wants to do something of both, but I think it’s going to be very, very interesting.

Marek says:

Re: Are you forgetting

Well – sounds like the American way – sue get rich quick. Let others suffer in the fumes of your fancy new car!

Robin Hooodwink more like
well – looks like this wil shutdown many many many small economies and homegrown companies – means more poor people and one more small rich bunch of greedy guys.

Sad state of the world…

Thomas Schodt says:

Eolas patent and licensing

What if the patent holder decides to patent it to anyone for a reasonable percentage of the price of the product that uses the patent.
Mozilla does not cost anything so would not be affected.
It would hardly be worth it for the patent holder to collect fees due from Opera due to the low cost in the first place.
HP would unbundle mozilla from HPUX, at least the binary form. They could probably get away with bundling the source and build scripts instead.
If Microsoft continue to claim that IE is an integral part of Windows they would have to pay a percentage of the full price of Windows. The alternatives (for Microsoft) are; rewrite IE (take out the offending code – which seems to be their current backup plan, if their appeal fails) or, they could completely unbundle IE from Windows and (continue to) give IE away for free.

Robert Agnel (user link) says:

EOLAS doesn't get any money we all pay

You can bet that Microsoft comes out of this ahead, we all loose. My site contains 100s of QTVR movies, I don’t advertise so don’t make money so will it be worth my time to change evrery page? I think not.

I will place a notice on my site that IE will not work, Please use FireFox, Netscape or Opera (hopefully they will be smart enough to license) then if people want to look at all the cool content on the Internet they will abandon IE for open source browsers

If half the web sites out there don’t work, I think internet users will switch.

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