Legal Web/Tech

Searching for prior art

As Microsoft appeals the federal decision that MS Internet Explorer violates a patent held by Eolas Technologies, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has weighed in on behalf of the monopolist, contending that prior art trumps the patent.

The controversial patent describes how a Web browser can access a separate application from within a Web page. The case has galvanized disparate groups and has renewed criticsm of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office handling of high-tech patent applications.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel, Northern District of Illinois, refused to allow evidence of prior art in the trial, which led to a $521 million judgment against Microsoft. W3C contends it has at least two documents that describe the same technology more than a year before the patent application was filed. Eolas contends that there is no prior art.

Links: cNet Asia; Everett Herald; W3C Statement.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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