Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Eolas Patent Taken Away

from the phew dept

The patent office finally got one right (though, it took quite a while). Despite tons of prior art, and a patent that was far from "non-obvious", Eolas convinced a judge to award them over half a billion dollars from Microsoft for using embedded applications within IE. Microsoft started talking about changing the browser in a way that would have broken many web sites. After quite a bit of outcry from many different places, the patent office finally agreed to review the patent, and on second thought, are now rejecting the Eolas patent. Did it really need to take this much time, this many lawyers and this much outcry just to get a single bad patent reviewed and rejected? Isn't it about time we fixed the patent system?

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  • identicon
    digibum, 5 Mar 2004 @ 4:58pm

    But the real question is . . .

    if you had a patent should it be easy for others to challenge it? Of course we want bad patents easy to overturn and good patents to be difficult to challenge. :-)

    I think more work should be done on preventing patents from being issued for these kinds of things in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      rainblk, 6 Mar 2004 @ 4:26am

      Re: But the real question is . . .

      Actually, a fast track patent challange system is not a bad idea. It is very possible a market based solution could be more effective in determing idea originality, and establishing timing, in the long run. The alternative is leaving the system in the hands of an Agency making highly impactive decisions in an unbalanced manner, as it is now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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