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 17:09:41 -0400
To: <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01d401c36f3b$075ced30$550ffea9@rms>

My reading of claim #1 is that one must be the browser business in order
to infringe on the Eolas '906 patent.  I don't see why a plugin company
should pay anything because of a dispute between Microsoft and Eolas.


-----Original Message-----
From: SerpentMage (Christian Gross) [mailto:mailing@devspace.com] 
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:03 PM
To: Richard M. Smith
Cc: public-web-plugins@w3.org
Subject: Re: Microsoft should just do a license deal with Eolas

Richard M. Smith wrote:

>The Eolas '906 patent is hardly the first patent that Microsoft has
>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.
Whether they can easily afford and whether they should are two separate 
issues.  Yes MS had to pay in previous cases, but those have always been

reasonable, or at least as reasonable as it should be.  Yes MS has 40 
(actually about 50 now) billion in the bank, but that does give the 
right for other people to demand a piece of that pie.  The patent is 
trivial when put in the context of the world.  Hence my reference to 
cancer, and famine. 

>What I am trying to point out here is that Microsoft's and the
>of other companies who produce plugins are not necessarily the same.
>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
Ok here is a question.  If somebody benefits from the plugin 
architecture, why should MS pay for those benefits when part of the 
benefits goes elsewhere?  At the very least everybody who benefits 
should pay some amount of monies towards the fine that MS is getting.  
After all that would only be fair.

So lets say that the cost for royalities in perpetuity, etc, etc is 
about 1.5 billion.  MS will shoulder about 750 million, the community 
will do the rest.  Lets say that there are 100,000 developers who could 
pay.  That means each developer would have to pay about 7500 USD for the

right to generate content for a plugin.  Are there 100,000 developers 
willing to shell out that much for a plugin?  I doubt it...

Christian Gross
Received on Saturday, 30 August 2003 17:09:48 UTC

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