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.
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 , but at least it's a significant win for the forces of sanity in intellectual property (IP) lawsuits.
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With a tip of the hat to Ed Bott for this story's title.
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