W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > August 2003

RE: Appeal will follow

From: Stolowitz, Micah <MDSTOLOWITZ@stoel.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 13:35:19 -0700
Message-ID: <8EBE8F577A50C64182B52DADB7903C21354714@PDX-MX2.stoel.com>
To: "Public-Web-Plugins@W3. Org" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>

Doubtless an appeal will follow in the Eolas case (to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as in all patent cases).  Patent infringement judgments are reversed (overturned) in fully 50% of the cases appealed (or more, depending on who you ask, and how you interpret the statistics). That will take a year or more.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Judd [mailto:judd@melia.com]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 12:59 PM
To: Aral Balkan; Public-Web-Plugins@W3. Org
Subject: RE: Flash

I was wondering when someone would start to actually understand the
implications of this. You are correct in being concerned about Flash.
Concerning international patents, my guess is that Eolas has filed their
international patent(s), this is normal practice. Weather or not Eolas
pursuies and wins battles internationally are anyone's guess. I for one
have not had the chance to read through Eolas' patent yet, but as far as
MS is concerned, we must all remember that not just IE is affected, but
MSN Explorer as well (their current browser push). MSN Explorer utilizes
IE at its core as well as the ActiveX/Plug-in architecture not only with
content but the application interface as well. I am not going to even
ponder the possible ramifications within the operating system, for like
I stated I have not yet had the chance to review their patent.

On to patents in general, I personally support the concept of patents.
Eolas is a wonderful example of why patents should exist (although their
current technique in enforcing them seems to have all the grace and good
business practice of the 1000lb gorilla we liken MS to be). Without
patents small companies/individuals have little protection for their
intellectual property. NOTE: I am not looking for an extended argument
concerning this; it is merely my opinion from the point of view of
someone who has gone through the patent process for these reasons.

Does it affect Europe? You bet, possible not directly, but indirectly
without a doubt. Most of your software comes from the US. Legality and
infringement within the US will surely affect your specific utilization,


-----Original Message-----
From: Aral Balkan [mailto:aral@bitsandpixels.co.uk] 
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 3:31 PM
To: Public-Web-Plugins@W3. Org
Subject: Flash

I have been reading some of the messages on here from companies and
individuals who apparently do not see any implications of this verdict.
was wondering if anyone here uses Flash?

As someone who runs a small business making web application front-ends
Flash, this ruling has the potential to hurt us terribly, if not
shut down the business.

Sure, we could return to making application front ends in DHTML and
Javascript but that seems as appealing to us as would a return to the
Victorian era (I had to stop myself from saying "stone age.")

Apart from the very concept of software patents being a Bad Idea (tm),
one that we may have to tackle in Europe if the powers that be in the US
have their way, I believe that this has the potential to negatively
the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people working with or
earning their living through the Macromedia technology we know as Flash.

Also, could someone please enlighten me as to whether this ruling
Europe and other countries that do not currently recognize software
If not, could we in the "free world" (i.e., those countries not bound by
software patents), please raise our voices a little louder so we don't
to face such debacles in the future.) I know that there is currently a
blackout movement going on against software patents (with sites such as
Knoppix signed up.) We need to make our voices heard so that Europe does
become like the States in this regard (freedom, once lost, is much
harder to

All the best,

Aral Balkan
Managing Director, Bits And Pixels, Ltd.
Director of Educational Content, Ultrashock.com
Co-author, Flash 3D Cheats, (FoED)
Co-author, Flash MX Most Wanted Components (FoED)
Co-director, London Macromedia User Group
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Received on Friday, 29 August 2003 16:41:49 UTC

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