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   Federal Court says Microsoft infringed UC, Eolas Web Objects Patent

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Eolas and the University of California claimed that Microsoft infringed 
U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906, and the federal court agreed. If I am reading it 
correctly, which may not be the case, this patent seems to cover all 
embedded objects in web browsers that get their data from other programs 
over the Internet. That describes the architecture of a lot of web pages!

Here is the abstract for the patent:

>Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external 
>application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a 
>hypermedia document
>A system allowing a user of a browser program on a computer connected to 
>an open distributed hypermedia system to access and execute an embedded 
>program object. The program object is embedded into a hypermedia document 
>much like data objects. The user may select the program object from the 
>screen. Once selected the program object executes on the user's (client) 
>computer or may execute on a remote server or additional remote computers 
>in a distributed processing arrangement. After launching the program 
>object, the user is able to interact with the object as the invention 
>provides for ongoing interprocess communication between the application 
>object (program) and the browser program. One application of the embedded 
>program object allows a user to view large and complex multi-dimensional 
>objects from within the browser's window. The user can manipulate a 
>control panel to change the viewpoint used to view the image. The 
>invention allows a program to execute on a remote server or other 
>computers to calculate the viewing transformations and send frame data to 
>the client computer thus providing the user of the client computer with 
>interactive features and allowing the user to have access to greater 
>computing power than may be available at the user's client computer.

Here are a press release and a FAQ from UC:

Press Release: http://www.ucop.edu/news/archives/2003/aug11art1.htm
FAQ: http://www.ucop.edu/news/archives/2003/aug11art1qanda.htm

I was not able to find information on this case from the Microsoft site.




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