Protecting the Web

Just wondering if anyone has read or heard about this case about some guys or a company that claims they have patents on the “interactive web”. They are suing several big companies and I’m wondering if they win the case what does it mean exactly for the rest of us? This seems pretty crazy to me. Here’s a link to an article in Wired Magazine: and also an article about Tim Berners-Lee’s testimony in the case: [URL=“”]

So just wanted to know if anyone knows much more about this. Is there anything we can do to fight such a thing from happening?

Interesting articles. If they win then anyone that uses interactive technology HTML5, Canvas, Flash, Javascipt … will be liable to pay the patent trolls Eolas for use of any Interactive web use. Scary stuff indeed.

The article does not paint a favorable light on that Eolas will lose, so because it is this far along let’s hope that the courts decide that the work of Netscape, Mosaic, Viola and early workings of Pei-Yuan Wei will trump Eolas’s claim that they were first, demonstrated by Pei-Yuan Wei - at the time of him developing his technology and in the public domain stating he planned for Viola to have interactive behaviours moving forward. If the court sides with the early workers of the web then it will support a better precedence as they gave their technology to the world without patents or fees; therefore future claims of ownership would be much more difficult.

Got my fingers crossed.


It’s doubtful they will considering that there’s well documented history of the actual source of those items predating the claimants time frame and considering all who are involved and what is involved in the case it will be escalated if Eolas wins.

I’ve moved this thread to “General Discussions” because it didn’t seem to belong in “Accessibility and Usability”.

No problem, thanks. I wasn’t quite sure where this should go.

That’s what I was wondering. So basically just about every site on the internet then would have to pay royalties to these guys if they win? Wow. Gonna be paying attention to this case.

These are interesting articles. I’m curious to know how in the world such a claim could have made it to the court. It is true that ideas can’t be patented in Europe. It is just absurd. So many people can have the same idea… would you have to pay for every single thought and occurrence that you had?

Things like this can only happen in the US :lol:

Yet, it will be interesting to see the outcome. I do wonder that, in the very unpleasant case that Eolas wins its claim, how it will affect webs outside US. Because, after all, such a thing can’t be patented in Europe (and I guess that the rest of the world will have a similar approach). Would that mean that sites hosted in Europe can have interactivity and animations? or only European companies, even if they host in the US?

The whole thing is ridiculous but I guess that this company could have a good reason if they could get money from so many big companies.

It could be possible that they know various dark secrets from important people and it was a case of spectacular blackmail. They seem to be kind of shady :slight_smile:


Patents can be made in Europe and in Asia but they are not like US patents. For example the do not allow public domain technologies to be patented, so you would not see this type of ludicrousness there.

Recently high-tech U.S. fraud cases parties that had located their servers outside of their own country are being prosecuted both in the U.S. and in the countries where their servers where located. If you were to host a website outside of the U.S. and your company was not U.S. and your company did not reside in the U.S. then it would be next to impossible for Eolas to get too you.

Do we really believe that the unscrupulous Eolas, will dictate how the rest of the world can and can not conduct their business? I don’t think so, it is most likely going to be a ‘BIG MIDDLE FINGER’ from other countries. We in Canada would not have it so easy because of all of the business, rights, and treaties shared between us and the U.S.

It does seem shady, but Trolls do live under bridges don’t they (:? They find Doyle who claims he did it first with enough documented history to make a case, found a gap in the U.S. patents relative to this and went ahead a filed their claims. It is sick how some people make their money isn’t it:rolleyes:?!

It would open an increased channel of business for other countries encouraging business to reside locally and would give further business to external hosts.


I read about this case yesterday and it makes me sick. I hate patent trolls.

This sort of stuff will stiffle innovation and prevent the creation of new companies and technology.

The US needs to do something to change their patent laws.

So Eolas, returned I guess the money they got from Microsoft from a very similar case has ran out, now going after the other companies.

I really hope our patent system will change after this. This is just crazy. Especially since they claim they invented it how many years ago? But why just now are they trying to claim ownership. And if they were the ones who invented the interactive web that many years ago why are they not a more inovative company today. Why has no one ever heard of them before. If they were really so inovative back then, then why aren’t they the Google or Amazon or Apple of today???

I’ve got two words for this…


… and one great example of it: PRODIGY… .the first major GUI based BBS, which did this stuff as early as ‘79, more than a decade before Eolas’ rather “late to the party” patent.

Of course those of us who screwed around with ASCII art on dialup might have something to say about that too…