I sure hope I never have to take out a license to use the <B> tag anytime in the future! According to this article, the W3C may be changing the OBJECT and EMBED usage.
Options the PAG could recommend include a technical workaround or new wording in HTML and related specifications warning that authors who implement the tags in question should contact the patent holders and take out a license, if necessary. (Source: C|Net)
That would be a big change. All plugins use these tags, QuickTime, Flash, Active X, etc, etc.
So is Eolas going to go after EVERY business who has used the OBJECT and EMBED framework in their own technology? He (Eolas is a one man operation) already has won a ruling, which we all know doesn't mean anything yet, M$ is going to appeal. Is he going to go after Apple, Macromedia, Sun, etc. as well and make them pay a licensing fee? I think this is all a bit harsh. How long have people used plugins in browsers? I seem to recal Netscape as being the pioneer of the plugin architecture to enhance the Web, but that is beside the point at this point.
I am not sure if I agree with M$ or not here. There is a patent here (and how many years has it been with no word of patent infringement by Eolas?) But I get the feeling that Eolas is asking way too much for licensing, I mean, $521 million for the patent case?
But, the federal court found that plug-ins and applets in Internet Explorer infringed on patents held by Eolas Technologies and the University of California. Say that again: plug-ins and applets in Internet Explorer. So why is this suit not directed toward other browser developers such as Netscape, Apple, Omni, etc, etc? This is not something M$ did, the use of plug-ins and applets in a web browser is a standard, and ALL web browsers use the standard. That is the part I am confused about.