Eolas Discussing Browser Patent With Linux Community

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-01-14 Print this article Print

Eolas' founder on Wednesday said he is talking with open-source players to resolve issues with its Web browser patent —the basis of the company's case against Microsoft.

Eolas Technologies Inc. is talking with members of the Linux and open-source community about the use of its Web browser patent, which is at the heart of its high-profile infringement case against Microsoft Corp., the companys founder said on Wednesday. "Were in discussions with major players in the Linux world and are working on a plan to resolve the 906 patent issue with the entire Linux community," Eolas Founder Michael Doyle told eWEEK.com, referring in short hand to the patents full number. "The solution will be supportive of the open-source community." Doyle declined to provide further details about the companies or individuals involved in the discussions or what exactly would be covered in any agreement or partnership with Linux players. But if all goes well, he said, an announcement could come within the next month or two.
Doyle, in past interviews with eWEEK.com, has said that he is pursuing licensing agreements for the use of the technology behind the patent. The patent, for which Chicago-based Eolas holds a license from the University of California, covers a method for embedding and invoking interactive applications such as applets and plug-ins from a Web browser.
What do patents have to do with browsers? Click here to read more about the basis of the Eolas patent suit and its possible ramifications for Web companies. Doyles disclosure comes the same day that his company received a favorable final judgment in its patent infringement case against Microsoft. A federal judge on Wednesday let stand an August jury verdict awarding Eolas $521 million in royalties despite Microsofts request for a stay pending the outcome of a United States Patent and Trademark Office reexamination of the patents validity. The judge also granted Eolas request for an injunction against shipments of Microsofts Internet Explorer browser but delayed that order until the end of the appeals process. Microsoft says it will appeal the verdict. To read more about the recent decision against Microsoft, click here. Doyle said that he is a supporter of open-source development and has been involved in the development community for the open-source TcL (Tool Command Language) scripting language. "I believe we can come up with a solution to help encourage the open-source movement and expand competition in the browser space," he said.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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