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.