Feeds

Microsoft to face patent violation claims today

Eolas' ActiveX challenge comes to court

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft will find itself in dock (again) today when the patent infringement case brought against it by little-known, privately-owned technology developer Eolas comes to the US District Court for Eastern Illinois.

At the heart of the case is a patent granted to the University of California but administered by Eolas, a firm set up in 1994 by the inventors of the technology described in the patent to capitalise upon it. Indeed the Regents of the University of California are named as joint plaintiffs in the case.

The patent in question is number 5,838,906, entitled 'Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document'. Filed in October 1994, the patent was granted in November 1998. Essentially it describes how a user can use a web browser to access and execute a remotely stored program object that has been embedded in a web page.

Eolas contends that Microsoft's ActiveX technology does just that and more to the point does so without Eolas' permission. Its 1999 suit originally named Windows 95 and 98, and Internet Explorer as offending items, and demands they be banned from sale. These versions of Windows have long been superseded, but Eolas may yet add other versions of the operating system to its complaint.

The suit also seeks unspecified damages from Microsoft based on sales of those products within and without the US. Microsoft tried to have the judgement on the level of damages restricted to US sales only, but the case judge, James B Zagel, recently denied its motion.

Microsoft filed last November to have the case dismissed, but Judge Zagel ruled that it did have a case to answer, hence the trial which begins today at 10:30am Chicago time.

Eolas' patent also covers plug-in technology developed by Netscape to allow interactive content to be delivered through its Navigator browser, now owned by AOL. Sun's Java technology might also be considered to infringe 5,838,906 since it was developed, in part, as a mechanism to deliver applications via web pages. Sun began work on Java in 1991, though it was only made public in 1995. Mosaic, the browser on which IE is based, was released in 1993. ®

Related Story

Microsoft sued over alleged ActiveX patent violation

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.