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Texas Jury: Man Doesn't Own The Web

Posted on Feb 14, 2012

Eight jurors in eastern Texas denied a man's claim that he created the interactive web.

Several publications, including Wired Magazine and CNN, followed a patent trial in Tyler, Texas, that could have had potentially sweeping implications.

Michael Doyle, who runs a patent licensing company in Chicago, was suing major Internet companies and retailers such as Google, Amazon and Yahoo for royalty payments. He was suing just about anyone running a website with interactive features, like rotating pictures or streaming video.

But the federal jury concluded that all of Eolas' asserted claims of ownership to technology allowing access to the interactive web were invalid.

According to CNN, the eight defendant companies who resisted the lawsuits won't pay anything to Eolas or his partner, the University of California, for using the web.

As a technology company, we are always cognizant of protecting our intellectual property, explained a payments expert at US Dataworks. But some very broad patents for business processes go too far with this. Especially when the owner of the patent does not actually produce a product that uses the technology.

One last thought.

Of all the places in the world, could you have ever imagined Tyler, Texas, as the place for a trial like this?

Source: CNN, February 2012