From the Wikipedia page: “ Eolas (meaning "Knowledge"; bacronym: "Embedded Objects Linked Across Systems") is a United States technology firm formed as a spin-off from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), in order to commercialize UCSF's patents for work done there by Eolas' co-founders. The company was founded in 1994 by Dr. Michael Doyle and three of his staff members from the UCSF Center for Knowledge Management. Since Eolas successfully enforced its patent rights against many big tech infringers, the company has been the victim of false negative propaganda put out by these tech giants in an attempt to escape liability, despite the fact that Eolas was created at the request of UCSF, and was founded by the inventors of the university's patents.
In addition to the work done while at UCSF, Dr. Doyle has led work at Eolas to create new technologies ranging from Spatial Genomics/Spatial transcriptomics, transient-key cryptography, and blockchain to mobile AI assistants and automated audio conversation annotation.”
Along with Using Tcl to write WWW client side applications, Eolas [L1 ] is well known for inventing the Web plugin/applet platform, and the associated patent that they're currently enforcing against Microsoft [L2 ].
As of 9/2007, the Eolas v. Microsoft case has been settled, with Microsoft licensed under the Eolas 906 patent [L3 ].
As of 2009 Oct, Eolas has been awarded a patent that extends the previous one. [L4 ]
"Texas-based Eolas Technologies, which won a patent case against Microsoft in 2003, is suing nearly two dozen companies – including Apple, Google, and Yahoo – for infringing on that same patent, as well as another that deals with embedded applications."
Creator of Muse
Sponsor of several OSS projects:
Developer of the Eolas WebRouser [L6 ] [L7 ], which was cited by Robert X. Cringely as invalidating prior art [L8 ] for the infamous SBC Web patent. Cringely in other columns has written about how Eolas "is mopping the floor" in its judicial encounters with Microsoft, by which he means that the company is winning court cases--maybe big and important ones.
... in 2003, news.org reports they have won! [L9 ] (Well, subject to appeal).
The W3C has issued this statement on the subject: http://www.w3.org/2003/08/patent .
And Eolas has issued this response: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1304252,00.asp
Oct 31, 2003: the debate rages on - here are two new c|net articles (at one time, c|net used the Tcl version of Vignette - does it still do that?) [L14 ] [L15 ] http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2003/11/2003111801n.htm
In January, 2004, US District Court reaffirms the jury decision against Microsoft: http://www.computerworld.com/newsletter/0,4902,89086,00.html?nlid=AM
In February, 2004, here's a blog discussing the fact that the patent is being reexamined in a prior art claim [L16 ]. These articles [L17 ] [L18 ], however, strongly suggest that the reexamination process will be futile, since the "prior art" that's been claimed was actually presented to the jury in the Microsoft trial.
In March, 2004, the patent claim is "initially-rejected": [L19 ] [L20 ] but the decision may not be final. Actualy, an initial rejection is the routine first step of a patent reexamination. The examiner puts up a straw man, consisting of the arguments presented, in this case, by the W3C, and then the inventor has an opportunity to rebut it. On May 11, 2004, Eolas submitted its rebuttal. [L21 ] [L22 ]
Here's a mid-2004 article providing yet another person's opinion on the current state [L23 ]. Note: this writer testified at the trial, and was thoroughly discredited on the stand as a rabid anti-patent activist.
In August, 2004, things continue to roll along: Slashdot reports that USPTO rejects all 10 patent claims: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/19/0036217 MS files brief asking the infringement judgement be overturned based on Pei Wei's alleged prior art http://news.com.com/Microsoft+appeals+Eolas+decision/2100-1032_3-5228882.html . eWEEK points out that the latest USPTO office action withdraws the rejection of claims which was based upon Berners-Lee's and Raggett's arguments, and cites a new reference that the examiner wants Eolas to respond to: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1638113,00.asp . As a result, the latest action is actually a major victory for Eolas, rather than a Microsoft win as many press reports have suggested.
http://patentlaw.typepad.com/patent/2004/08/eolas_reexam_of.html . Quote: "After a reader e-mailed, I looked into the case a little more. Although I am not completely familiar with the case, the headline of the OA could be "Eolas wins Round I of Highly Anticipated Re-Examination." In the most recent OA, the Examiner accepted Eolas' argument as to the initial ground for rejection -- thus, according to the Examiner, the combination of references cited in the original application do not render the patent obvious."
http://patentlaw.typepad.com/patent/2004/08/contrary_to_med.html . Quote: "Apparently, the original reexamination plea by Tim Berners-Lee's plea did not contain any new prior art. Rather, the parties involved (Microsoft, et. al.) had provided the USPTO with the same prior art weeks before Berners-Lee's W3C submission. Download Microsoft's Original Submission (PDF)[L24 ]. Download W3C Subsequent Submission (PDF)[L25 ]." In fact, the Microsoft-drafted document appears to be the initial draft of the Berners-Lee document.
Also see http://www.linuxworld.com/story/46133.htm for an example of the recent Microsoft-slanted spin on this that has appeared in the press.
At the end of 2004, Eolas goes back to court with Microsoft: http://news.com.com/Eolas%2C+Microsoft+make+their+case--again/2100-1032-5483373.html?part=dht&tag=ntop&tag=nl.e433
In early 2005, News.org reports: Appeals court revisits Eolas decision - [a] federal appeals court partially reversed a lower-court decision that had exposed Microsoft to $565 million in damages.
The decision in Eolas v. Microsoft may be found at http://fedcir.gov/opinions/04-1234.pdf
During early 2006, http://www.fusionauthority.com/News/4604-The-ActiveX-Change-What-Does-This-Mean-for-You-Updated.htm discusses the fact that Microsoft has begun an effort to change the way it handles certain types of embedded objects, and speculates reasons for this move. There are URL references at the end of this article bringing the timeline up to date. http://www.emailbattles.com/archive/battles/ip_aadahdadhj_jf/ - I wonder how long this URL will be valid - is dated March 8, 2006 and talks some more about the Microsoft moves.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=71&tag=nl.e540 is a blog entry comparing TiVO's patent efforts and Eolas (and others) and trying to put a spin on why journalists tend to support TiVO's patent effort while condemning others. I frankly think that it is more an attempt to justify inconsistent behavior...
In March, 2005, Microsoft tries to push the Eolas case further: [L28 ]
October 31, 2005: Supreme Court declines to hear Microsoft appeal in Eolas case. [L31 ]
December 22, 2005 - Klarquist Sparkman LLP asks USPTO to reexamine the Eolas patent - http://opensource.sys-con.com/read/171271.htm .
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2200717/microsoft-sharpens-aims-patent - microsoft's Ballmer's reference of Eolas in speech.
Federal jury strikes down Eolas interactive web patent [L32 ]
However, after considering the evidence asserted by Google, Amazon, and others, in the 2012 trial, a new patent covering cloud computing on the Web was granted by the USPTO to Eolas in November of 2015, [L33 ] Eolas filed a new lawsuit against Google, Amazon and Walmart, which is currently underway in the Northern District of California.
Steve Landers developed Cryptkit and Muzic with Eolas' support, and has collaborated with them on many other Tcl projects, such as AnatLab: Virtual Anatomy Laboratory, dotNyet, Skybot, Stargus, and Muse.
Clif Flynt reported on his work for Eolas at the San Diego conference in 2000.
Michael Doyle is Eolas' CEO.