Imx Fix in my experience
« prev next »

September 12, 2003 10:26 AM

The subject of this post is a bit misleading, because I don't exactly understand the Eolas patent. This post is an attempt at grokking the situation.

First, Eolas claims that Microsoft "had stolen browser technology relating to plug-ins." this is, of course, a pretty vague statement. Then consider Microsoft's citation of CNN as being "an example of a site that uses Macromedia Flash--a technology many consider particularly vulnerable to the patent's claims--in a non-infringing way."

Is it the browser implementation that infringes, or the web site implementation that infringes? I'm not sure, but the Eolas patent is described by Eolas thusly...

First demonstrated publicly in 1993, this invention lifted the glass for the first time from the hypermedia browser, enabling Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications. The patent covers Web browsers that support such currently popular technologies as ActiveX components, Java applets, and Navigator plug-ins. Eolas' advanced browser technology makes possible rich interactive online experiences for over 500 million Web users, worldwide.
In the patent abstract, the following line indicates to me (a non-lawyer to be sure) that the devil is in the web site implementation...
The program object is embedded into a hypermedia document much like data objects.
Now, back to the CNN implementation and the way Microsoft suggests that web developers can avoid infringing code. It goes something like this...
One such option would move the data to the Web page itself, rather than pulling it from an external source.
If you haven't read the description of the CNN method, then go read it now... Notice any similarities? I do, and it's a very annoying process, that basically makes the data load external, but not external at the same time.

Anyone else have a clearer idea of what the deal is here?