US Patent and Trademark Office Nixes Eolas Browser Plug-in Patent

Friday March 5th, 2004

Reuters is reporting that the US Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated a patent covering browser plug-ins. The patent, jointly held by Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California, has been struck down in a preliminary decision, which Eolas has sixty days to respond to. Eolas successfully sued Microsoft for infringing on the patent last year, forcing the software giant to outline drastic changes to Internet Explorer that would severely impact upon the user experience of the Web. MozillaZine reported on the lawsuit and the Mozilla Foundation's response to it last October. Thanks to Zachariah for the news.

#13 Re: There's prior art, but...

by danielwang <>

Monday March 8th, 2004 4:10 AM

You are replying to this message

> You cannot patent ideas... Sorry, we are talking about laws here. The US Patent code says nothing about inpatentability of "idea" (and what is an "idea", anyway).

> For example, imagine HTML... The patent has to do with interaction between embeded objects and remote resources. It has nothing to do with <html>. I read the patent, and as far as I can tell all of the "claims" seen valid.

> This is why software patents should not be granted, or at least not be granted without a very > significant review process involving experienced software developers. The patent grant process is long and consuming. The people involved (patent agent/lawyer & reviewer) are typically highly trained in the field of the art. I have no idea what you mean by the "significant" part.