Tuesday, March 09, 2004

USPTO Negative on Eolas Embedding Patent at First Review Stage

USPTO Negative on Eolas Embedding Patent at First Review Stage

The Internet and Patents

The internet is ubiquitous and affects MANY of us DIRECTLY nearly every single day. Indeed, the internet will be increasingly important as time goes on. The world of tomorrow is a DIGITAL world.

The "Rejected" Eolas Patent and the News

So let us look for a change at a really IMPORTANT piece of news, which has been misreported by almost every important newspaper and news agency. The only halfway reliable report we have found online is at InternetNews.com in a March 5, 2004 article by Susan Kuchinskas misleadingly entitled "Microsoft Wins One in IE Battle" which correctly reports that a preliminary examination of the Eolas patent by patent examiner Andrew Caldwell in the USPTO re-examination of this patent resulted in a rejection of ALL 10 Eolas claims in the patent for the reason that "It would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made to implement the browser and controllable application".


Robert McMillan of the IDG News Service reports in Computerworld that "Eolas patent rejected, but decision not seen as final".

THAT would be GREAT news of the first importance, if the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) had actually and FINALLY rejected the validity of the patent erroneously issued to Eolas for internet embedding methodology, for which it has sued Microsoft and for which it is threatening to disrupt the entire internet. However, the patent has in fact not yet been actually rejected by the USPTO but, as reported at Nipper's Patent Law Blog, the patent has been given "a negative first office action during the [patent] reexamination" and the process of review is not yet completed, though with all 10 claims preliminarily rejected, it does not look good for Eolas at this point. Thank goodness for that.

This is the first step forward by the USPTO in fulfilling its manifold RESPONSIBILITIES, which they had forgotten. We hope it is the start of the absolutley necessary NON-ISSUANCE of patents for general software code or for methodology related to the internet, especially where patent applications come from companies and individuals who have become specialized in "methodology patent filing".

We repeat here our view that the only things that should be patentable are SPECIFIC PRODUCT APPLICATIONS of software code and of digital and internet methodology, but NOT the underlying code, technology or methodology itself. That is the ONLY standard which will withstand the necessities and demands of the future.

Bloggers and Media who have Correctly Seen this as an Important Event

Bloggers who have seen this as a significant event: Well Done !

Nippers Patent Law Blog



Digital Media Minute

Juicy Studio

Nick Bradbury


The Haus

ex machina

Other News Sources: IHT, CNet, Windows & .Net Magazine Network. Note that most of these journalistic news sources miss the entire POINT!!!!! seeing this as a victory for Microsoft, rather than categorizing this news properly, i.e. as a victory for ALL of us. This and other similar Eolas patents (or similar patents from other companies and individuals) have little to do with Micorosft but a lot to do with the future of the internet.

We would ask that the uninformed journalists out there finally get this right in their future stories.

And of course, we at LawPundit were right on this issue all along - see here and here and especially here.

Other Developments

See also Netcraft.

In a related development, at ZDNet see also the fully justified denial of a patent for Amazon's "One-Click" methodology by the Japanese Patent Office. We hope that the USPTO, the US Congress and the European Commission finally WAKE UP and follow suit in rejecting totally these kinds of ridiculous patents.

Things are beginning to look up in this previously dismal internet patents field.

See the Wikipedia generally on the topic of software patents - with many useful links.

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