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EOLAS

Embedded Objects Linked Across Systems

Computing » Databases

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What does EOLAS mean?

Eolas
Eolas (Irish pronunciation: [ˈoːl̪ˠəsˠ], meaning "Knowledge"; bacronym: "Embedded Objects Linked Across Systems") is a United States technology company accused of mainly acting as a patent troll and described as "The Web’s longest nightmare". It was founded in 1994 by Michael David Doyle.His University of California, San Francisco team claimed to have created the first web browser that supported plugins. They demonstrated it at Xerox PARC, in November 1993, at the second Bay Area SIGWEB meeting. The claim that this was an innovation, advanced to justify their patent application, has been contested by Pei-Yuan Wei, who developed the earlier Viola browser, which added plugin capabilities in 1992, a claim supported by inventor of the WWW Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other Web pioneers. Given only a short time to prepare, Wei was only able to demonstrate Viola's equivalent capabilities for local rather than remote files at the 2003 Eolas v. Microsoft trial, and thus fell short of proving prior art to the trial court's satisfaction. The case with Microsoft over patent 5,838,906 was settled in 2007 for a confidential amount of money after an initial $565 million judgment was stayed on appeal, but the University of California disclosed its piece of the final settlement as $30.4 million. In 2009 Eolas sued numerous other companies over patent number 7,599,985 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. As of June 2011, a number of these companies, including Texas Instruments, Oracle and JPMorgan Chase, had signed licensing deals with Eolas, while the company continued to seek payoffs from others.However, in February 2012, an eight-person jury in the Eastern District of Texas invalidated the ’906 and ’985 patents, and in July 2012, Judge Leonard Davis ruled against Eolas. One year later, moreover, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sustained that ruling, thereby putting an end to the company's long history of very profitable "infringement" lawsuits.

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eolas