Sunday, March 16, 2014

University Of California, Eolas Withdraw Suit against Wal-Mart

Case Filed: Sep 12, 2012

Case Closed: Mar 03, 2014

Court: Texas Eastern District Court

Judge: Leonard Davis

Case Summary:
Eolas Technologies and the Regents of the University of California filed a complaint against Wal-Mart alleging that their patents covering interactive web browsing technology including hypermedia display and interaction were infringed. The suit revolves around the patents:
  •         US5838906 issued on Nov 17, 1998
  •         US7599985 issued on Oct 06, 2009
  •         US8082293 issued on Dec 20, 2011
  •         US8086662 issued on Dec 27, 2011
All the patents are entitled ‘Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document’ and are currently assigned[a] to University of California (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). Eolas has an exclusive license to the patents-in-suit. The ‘905 patent expiresb by Nov 17, 2015 and the ‘985, ’293 and ‘662 patents expire by Oct 17, 2014.

According to Eolas website, the company founded to help the University of California commercialize the university’s patented technology then continued working with the university to develop several other technologies.

In the suit filed, plaintiffs claimed Wal-Mart designed and operated websites that incorporated browser functionality methods developed by the regents of the University of California and licensed to Eolas.

The complaint did not list which sections of Wal-Mart’s website were in violation specifically and stated, "the acts and practices of Wal-Mart in infringing and/or inducing the infringement of one or more claims of each of the patents-in-suit, plaintiffs have been, are being, and, unless such acts and practices are enjoined by the Court, will continue to suffer injury to their business and property rights."

The patent suit came to an end as the parties, Eolas and University of California filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. Upon consideration, the Court granted the notice ordering dismissal without prejudice.

Plaintiffs also accused Walt Disney Co. and Facebook of patent infringement on the same day asserting the same patents, which are still pending in Texas Eastern District Court.

[a] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating
to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded
b Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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