Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
November 26th, 2003


They’re no angels

On the one hand, Microsoft is acting pretty bad, trying to sue tiny little computer companies out of existence.

On the other hand, Microsoft itself is being sued by a tiny little company, one that isn’t exactly playing fair, either.

From the creator of the first web browser with embedding technology, Viola:

…Michael Doyle (Eolas’s CEO and sole formal employee as I understand it), wrote to the net about his technology and eventually intent [sic] to patent this. So of course people (including me) wrote back informing him of prior arts. I’m not a lawyer but as I understand it one is supposed to disclose to the PTO any relevant prior art for the PTO examiner to assess. Doyle and I exchange letters, and I told him about this embedded capability in Viola, gave him a paper on viola [sic], which contains pointers leading to more information including even the viola browser source code. Doyle ends up mentioning the browsers Cello and Mosaic, but interestingly not Viola! Now, Viola came before both Cello and Mosaic, and non [sic] of those two other browsers had any kind of embedded interactive capability at the core of the discussions.

So then PTO grants Eolas this patent. With it, Eolas sues Microsoft.

Read the rest of his commentary on Eolas v. Microsoft.


  1. Generally speaking, those in the free/open source software community detest patents, IP claims, and other such nonsense, because they really infringe on our creativity. But I’ve ...