Try, Try Again: Microsoft Asks For Another Eolas Re-Exam
from the trying-anything dept
Microsoft, it seems, won’t give up in the Eolas case. If you don’t recall, this was a situation where a patent holding firm claimed they had a patent on embedding apps into browsers as plugins — something that (once again) calls into question how “obvious” some patents are. However, the USPTO claimed the patents were valid and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of their case — so it looked like Microsoft might actually have to pay up more than half a billion dollars (the actual case still needs to return to the lower court where the court will also look at whether or not the patent seems valid). However, some of Microsoft’s lawyers are now requesting another re-examination of the patents, suggesting that there’s additional prior art that the patent owners did not disclose. The request for re-examination is ex parte, meaning they’re doing it as a third party, but it’s not hard to see Microsoft standing behind them requesting that this be done. In the meantime, of course, Microsoft has introduced their workaround, which makes their browser a bit less useful (how’s that for innovation?). Either way, the very length of this legal battle shows yet another problem with the patent system. Any disagreement takes years (and a ton of legal dollars) to resolve — often delaying further innovation drastically.