Microsoft, Eolas Settle: It's Still Cheaper To Pay Up Than Fight Bogus Patents
from the such-is-life dept
Of course, as we've learned time and time again, since this process is so long, and the risk of losing gets costlier and costlier the longer you wait, it appears Microsoft has given up invalidating this highly questionable patent and has simply paid off Eolas in a settlement. The amount isn't defined, but Eolas is gleefully telling its shareholders to expect a dividend shortly. Once again, this highlights nearly everything wrong with the patent system and why it needs to be changed. A very broad and vague concept with plenty of prior art gets patented by a small firm that doesn't actually do anything. Then it holds up a large company that is actually offering a product to the market, and forces them to change their product, taking away functionality, while trying to collect hundreds of millions of dollars that could have gone towards further innovation. On top of that, it highlights how difficult, slow and convoluted the patent review process is that makes it so difficult to actually contest these questionable patents. In the end, it's often just cheaper to pay up, diverting money from actual innovation into the legal system. What a shame.