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

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.

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

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  • I wanted to cheer

    I wanted to cheer when I read the headline but reading that, while their run lasted, these guys managed to squeeze a few hundred million from legitimate businesses with legitimate products to sell just makes me want to cry.
  • Huh?

    The reasons you cut-and-pasted for the grounds for appeal are all about the judicial process. Not a single one has anything to do with patents.
    • Yeah!

      That's how the judicial process works. Nothing to see here. Move on.
    • But the one they lost

      ... was about patents. Now the loss is irreversible.
  • Keep it up

    My favorite part of the article is the author's superior understanding of the legal system. In particular, where the article states that Eolas "appealed" to Judge Davis. I can only assume that the author means "appeal" in the ordinary sense, as in "Steven appealed to his supervisors for help understanding the legal system, but they were too busy publishing vitriol to be bothered." Eolas asked the Judge to overturn the verdict. Now that the case is over at the district court level, Eolas will likely appeal (in the legal sense) to the court of appeals. Then you'll get another crack at it.
    Keep it Up
    • Your

      comments make me laugh.
    • You sure this wasn't what this was and that was

      what's being denied?
      Johnny Vegas
    • How dare anyone...

      ...who doesn't have a law degree comment on a court case? Oh, you don't have one either? Too bad, so sad!
      John L. Ries
      • law degree ?

        In the context of your elitist comment, a law degree has no credibility without solid litigation experience.
        Also there are plenty of other professions that are intimately familiar with due process and court procedures.
        • Hey, what do ya know?

          ... an article on legal issues brings out the a-holes. Man, that's just weird.
        • I was actually being sarcastic

          Clue: "You don't have one either?"
          John L. Ries
      • Uh-huh

        That's right - only those who are smart enough to be able to INTERPRET the law should be able speak on it. Like someone with a Harvard law degree, he is obviously much smarter than the mass of common-folk who whine and cry about their "rights". A good lawyer can convince any jury that Santa Claus exists, no need to consider logic or reasoning, those types of qualities have no place in a court of law.
        • What are you saying.....

          .... Santa does NOT exist????

          sniff sniff....boohooohoooo
  • Does the judge have the discretion...

    to have the Eolas CEO dragged into court, forced on his knees, and order the bailiff to put six rounds in the back of his head? That would be justice.
  • what about apple

    • Yeah.

      Maybe they could drag Apple into court and put six rounds into the back of it's head.
      Beat a Dead Horse
  • real justice

    force the patent office to review all of these patents and it looks like the average 10 year old drew it, revoke it, if the idea is so simple, and simply stated, or seems like "you know, I remermber something like this about 20 years ago.. the revoke it too..
    You would save the courts lot of money, things might cost less and thereby save all of use some money..
    But the lawyers would start to feel the pinch? Too bad, so sad. they have fed fatly on this BS far too long.