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Lawsuit: We Invented the Web, So Pay Up Google

Eolas Technologies patent claims interactive web is its brainchild
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2012 2:19 PM CST
Lawsuit: We Invented the Web, So Pay Up Google
Eolas Technologies says it owns the rights to the interactive web.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A case is being tried in Tyler, Texas, this week that could determine the future of the Internet. On one side: The world's top web companies, including Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and Apple. On the other: A tiny company called Eolas Technologies that claims it patented the "interactive web." In its telling, a program by Chicago biologist Michael Doyle allowing doctors to view embryos, developed in 1993, was the first to allow users to interact with images in a browser, Wired explains.

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Tech companies say that's not true. But based on that claim, Eolas has filed a massive suit, saying that everything from streaming videos to "suggest" features on search engines is infringing on its intellectual property. Many web pioneers are battling the suit—Tim Berners-Lee (called the "web's father" by Wired) testified yesterday that patent suits could endanger the future of the online innovation. But don't underestimate Eolas' chances—it got a huge settlement off Microsoft in 2007, and kept the case in East Texas, a favorite destination for so-called "patent trolls." (Read more patent trolls stories.)

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