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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2007 @ 10:31pm

    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.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2007 @ 12:27am

    Apple? Do you mean the British guys who also own the music by that '60s rock band? You are sooooo off-topic.

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

  3. identicon
    IronChef, May 31st, 2007 @ 1:00am


    Another reason that software patents need to be disregarded.

    Patent reform a-hoy!

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

  4. identicon
    Shaun, May 31st, 2007 @ 1:04am


    If it is actually debatable that Microsoft may have been the first to "invent" the patented technology, wouldn't that mean that they would have been working on those technologies around the same time - therefore invalidating the patent due to obviousness?

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

  5. identicon
    Iron Chef, May 31st, 2007 @ 1:21am

    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.

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

  6. identicon
    Bob Knight, May 31st, 2007 @ 5:04am

    Re: Xerox and Apple

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

  7. identicon
    JoeBob, May 31st, 2007 @ 5:45am

    " hopefully Microsoft can get this review done quickly."

    Huh? Got a lot of Microsoft stock or something?

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2007 @ 8:39am


    Regardless of how you feel about microsoft, the Eolas patent is a joke and deserves to be slapped down. If a change in the patent system is going to happen to make that harder, let the slapping happen first.

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

  9. identicon
    Jack Sparrow, May 31st, 2007 @ 12:04pm


    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.


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

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