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

RE: Microsoft should just do a license deal with Eolas

From: Richard M. Smith <rms@computerbytesman.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 16:41:06 -0400
To: <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-ID: <018701c36f37$095c6380$550ffea9@rms>

The Eolas '906 patent is hardly the first patent that Microsoft has paid
royalities on, nor will it be the last.  Some companies that Microsoft
have paid patent license fees to in the past include IBM, Wang, Stac,
and Borland.  It's a cost of doing business.  Microsoft can easily
afford it with more than 40 billion dollars in the bank and growing.  I
believe that they are most cash-rich company on the planet.

If the '906 patent is proven valid, then Microsoft is going to have to
pay the inventor.  That's the way the patent system works.  It's always
been that way.  Calling a company greedy for collecting patent
royailities is total non-starter.

What I am trying to point out here is that Microsoft's and the interests
of other companies who produce plugins are not necessarily the same.  So
far Microsoft has been pretty vague here, but my sense is that they are
trying to shift some of their costs from this patent lawsuit to plugin
companies.  Plugin companies should be watching Microsoft carefully and
be pushing back.  As a minimum, the W3C and others should be asking why
Microsoft isn't doing a patent licensing deal with Eolas like Microsoft
has done in the past with other companies over similar kinds of patents.


-----Original Message-----
From: SerpentMage (Christian Gross) [mailto:mailing@devspace.com] 
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2003 4:13 PM
To: Richard M. Smith
Subject: Re: Microsoft should just do a license deal with Eolas

Richard M. Smith wrote:

>The problem I have right now is Microsoft is giving signals that they
>are going to pull plugins out of Internet Explorer.  A cheap solution
>for them maybe, but it screws everyone else who depends on plugins.
I think this is a very dangerous argument saying that MS is the one 
"screwing" over the people that depend on plugins.  Remember here that 
MS is the company that is being sued for the original amount of 1.3 
billion in licensing fees.  If anything please give these comments to 
the people doing the sueing...  From what I remember patents were 
supposed to be licensed on reasonable terms.

This patent will potentially cost MS 500 million instead of 1.3 
billion.  The licensing terms would probably be in the billions, and 
last I remember this is only a simple plugin.  It does not cure cancer, 
does not provide a solution for world hunger, etc.  Personally if I was 
MS I would be fuming and the only fair thing to do is to appeal to the 
public and think of a way that all of us can get out of this

(http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/32561.html)  Read the last 
paragraph and you see this is greed pure and simple!

Christian Gross
Received on Saturday, 30 August 2003 16:41:14 UTC

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