Eolas shakedown: Don't feed (patent) trolls


It's patent-troll time once again, folks. A one-person* company that adds zero economic value is suing a huge laundry list of companies who use the Web. The company claims it invented a common Web page feature, so it should be entitled to licensing fees. What sort of crazy is this? Explanations in today's The Long View...

Opinion, by Richi Jennings.

You may be feeling some déjà vu, because the company in question is Eolas. This is the same patent troll that shook Microsoft down in 1999 for daring to introduce Active-X. It's the company about which SJVN wrote:

Eolas, like other patent trolls, has taken an obvious idea [and] somehow managed to con the..Patent and Trademark Office. .. The early Web browser Viola, which dates to 1992, was the first Web browser I know of that included the ability to [do this]. .. Eolas didn't apply for a patent until Oct 17, 1994.
Now, everyone else gets to be smacked around..in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is the happy hunting ground for patent attorneys.

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