Eolas has been tormenting browser makers for over a decade with patents they claim cover browser plug-ins, but last week a jury in Tyler, Texas invalidated their patents after defendants presented compelling prior art. In other words, it took years of litigation and massive legal expenses to do something that patent examiners could easily have taken care of with a Google search. Wikipedia has a useful history of Eolas, including Microsoft’s embarrassing “click to activate” change to Internet Explorer to try to get around Eolas’ patent.
February 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Geez, reading the claims in those patents and the ones linked to them on that page leaves me incredibly depressed. These things are seriously considered to be “inventions”? I mean, it’s been clear since Amazon’s one-click patent that the patent system was a joke, but some of those things are seriously pathetic. Between this and the Google->Microsoft->Apple->Google circular licensing fee debacle we seem to be moving to, I’m surprised any actual work is getting done in the tech industry.