US Patent Office To Consider Whether Microsoft Invented Eolas Technology Before Eolas

from the first-to-invent dept

Remember the patent battle between Eolas and Microsoft? This is the one where Eolas won $520 million from Microsoft for a patent on browser plugins it claimed Internet Explorer violated. Microsoft tried to invalidate the overall patent, but the US Patent & Trademark Office has already said that it was valid. However, a different attack on the patent will at least get a hearing. Microsoft is now arguing that it invented the technology before Eolas did. Since the US (unlike most other places in the world) has a “first to invent” patent system, rather than a “first to file” this line of arguing could actually work (if they can provide enough evidence — which may not be easy). Of course, the recent attempts at patent reform include proposals to switch from “first to invent” to “first to file” so hopefully Microsoft can get this review done quickly.

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Comments on “US Patent Office To Consider Whether Microsoft Invented Eolas Technology Before Eolas”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Xerox and Apple

Just give Xerox the patent to anything computer related. They invented the first GUI, anything afterwards is just software supported by graphics. Operating systems, office tools, whatever it is, it’s graphics with software. Award all rights to Xerox and end the stupid usless court battles that waste our tax dollars. Apple invented the mouse, keep with the current USPO rulings and forget anything else but the most convenient. Apple would then have the right to all HID devices and we can burry the hatchet on that.

Iron Chef says:

I recend that last statement, and replace it with

You know, Mike, first to file isn’t the best way to go. MS with it’s infinite balance sheets could patent 5 million ideas today, and maybe persue even 1% of that…

When everyone gets sued, MS obtains a whole boatload of IP and as part of the individual suits, customers because of it.

Bad, Mike. Bad. (Slap) This is why I’m for whoever can license it, wins legitimacy, and then, well, everyone wins.

Your solution is Win-loose.
USPTO’s solution is loose-win.

I want to offer a win-win-win solution. You have the focus on the wrong thing. Don’t focus on acquisition, focus on who can do something with it, and reward them. You need Carrot, String, and Stick for this to yield anything useful. At one of my last jobs, I learned about “Customer Lifetime Value”. No one is looking at “Patent Lifetime Value”, and there’s an absence of coming up with a longterm viable solution.

Jack Sparrow says:


Hi Mates,

All bureaus that stay with no rules modifications since long ago are… undubtaly, out of date. C’mon, we are on dual core 64 bit world. You cannot think on “abacoo” speed anymore.

Micro$osft sucks. They ever since uses code from Mac(mouse, icons), from Unix(lots of sever concepts, disk particions), from Lotus(what about worksheets???), Xerox, IBM(who can remember OS/2, DOS???), etc, etc, etc. All the major achievment on computer tecnology not was Micro$of work. The comapny never put energy nad money on research as SUN, IBM, Xerox, HP did.

I agree, it’s so stupid usless court battles that waste time and tax dollars.


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