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I think it was back in September that I first saw something about Eolas Technologies bringing up an old patent they received. The patent covered downloadable applet-type applications - things like ActiveX controls, Flash, and Java applets. I guess they filed for the patent back in 1993 and received it in 1998.

The company filed a suit against Microsoft for patent infringement a few months ago, but what I don't seem to understand is why we haven't heard about any other companies getting sued. Eolas officials claimed that they were trying to open the way for smaller companies, but I have to admit that they have a bad way of showing it. I can't remember the analogy that was used, but their attempts to bring down Microsoft are going to fail. Sure, Microsoft may be affected by the suit, and they may even need to change the way IE works, but the truth is, Microsoft is, and hasn't been competing in the browser arena for quite some time. Either way, they won't be able to stop the waterfall with this one small stone. In actuallity, they'll hurt the competition more than they will Microsoft.

I thought this pretty much died off because I haven't heard about it for a while, but it turns out that I was wrong. It looks like the W3C is now involved in the scuffle. Well, good luck. W3C and others claim prior art, but I don't know if that applies to the 1998 issue date, or the 1993 application date. Either way, it seems odd that Eolas has waited more than 5 years to say something. In 1998, I was using Netscape...4, I think. Life was great...ahh, the memories. Anyway, Microsoft was getting heavy in the game back then and I would think that Eolas would have said something a lot sooner. Unless they forgot about their patent, which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Who knows. All I can say is that the suit is pretty ignorant, in my opinion. We'll see how it turns out.

[Original post Mon Nov 10, 06:12:23 PM UTC]

Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 8:06 PM IT | Back to top

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