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.continue reading →

Motorola launches Linux-run phone

On Friday, Motorola launched a phone based on the Intel chip set and Linux operating system; the phone is currently available only in China. Motorola declined to provide details such as price or if/when the phone might be available in the U.S. or Europe. The company sells a phone with a Microsoft operating system in the U.S. Links: PC World; ZD.netcontinue reading →

Just say no, please!

The New York Times reports this morning that Microsoft is wooing Google and has offered to buy (ie, assimilate) the upstart firm. Neither Google nor Microsoft would confirm the paper's report. News.google.com, science-tech section, does not list the story, but a search on Google, IPO and Microsoft yields a plethora of citations, many talking about the NYT story. The Financial Times reported last week that Google was exploring an IPO. Microsoft announced this week that it was splitting MSN into two parts; news reports noted that the firm is still trying to write its own search software. We can only hope that Google founders remain committed to their own vision, and that they don't succumb to the prospect of Microsoft $$$$. Links: NYTimes (requires registration); Washington Post; The Guardian; ZD.netcontinue reading →