Judge hands Web patent troll Eolas a shovel, orders it to dig own grave

Summary:Even in the infamously pro-patent troll U.S. District Court of East Texas, Eolas can no longer get away with its claims to have patented the Web.

Eolas_985_patent_diagram
An illustration from Eolas '985 patent.

For years patent troll Eolas has gotten away with intellectual property lawsuit murder. Stick a fork in them. They're done.

After a jury ruled against Eolas in the U.S. District Court of East Texas in its latest lawsuit against Amazon, Google, Yahoo and other major Internet companies, Eolas appealed to Judge Leonard Davis for a new trial and he ruled that Eolas had  no basis for an appeal (PDF Link).

This is the end of the road for Eolas' Web patent suits.  The U.S. District Court of East Texas is infamous for favoring patent trolls. If this court won't rule in their favor, there's no way a higher court would rule for them.

Over the years, Eolas had managed to get hundreds of millions for its patents from companies such as Microsoft for violating its intellectual property (IP). These patents essentially covered any Web technology such as JavaScript or AJAX that enabled any calling of a non-Web browser program .  

If that seems a little silly to you, well it also seemed that way to  Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, who testified against Eolas.

Eolas tried to convince the judge to grant them an appeal on the three different grounds. These were the rather lame excise that the jury verdict was unreasonable because they'd reached their decision on not enough evidence. In a related argument, Eolas claimed that the jury had made its decision on the basis of "passion and prejudice.” The judge ruled that, thank you very much, the jury had a reasonable decision based on the facts and the lawyers' arguments.

 Eolas also tried the excuse that the Microsoft jury had ruled in their favor. But, the judge wrote that since before trial, the Court had granted Eolas’s motion to exclude “any argument, evidence, testimony or reference   to Eolas’s damages or infringement claims; and (2) any argument, evidence, testimony, or reference to Eolas’s business success or failure,” they could not now argue that these facts should have been entered into evidence.

Given the  U.S. District Court of East Texas' pro-patent troll track-record, it seems to me that there's no way any higher court could possibly grant Eolas an appeal. This won't bring an end to the flood of bad patent lawsuits, such as Apple's iPad design lawsuit against Samsung , but at least it's a significant win for the forces of sanity in intellectual property (IP) lawsuits.

Related Stories:

Eolas loses landmark Web patent case

Rotten Apple: Apple's lousy design patent lawsuits

Linux patent defense group expands open-source protection

Apple's iPad Design Patent: Been There, Done That (Images)

Judge crushes Oracle's API copyright claims like a bug

With a tip of the hat to Ed Bott for this story's title.

Topics: Browser, Google, Legal, Microsoft, Networking

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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