Microsoft Corp has been slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit from a hitherto unknown start-up that claims it has the patent on all types of technology that enables developers to embed interactive programs within web pages, including plug-ins, applets, scriptlets and Active X components. Eolas Technologies Inc filed the suit, charging that Windows 98, 95 and Internet Explorer all infringe its patent, which was awarded on November 17 1998, after filing four year earlier. The company is seeking unspecified damages and asking Microsoft to cease all manufacturing and sales of infringing products.
Company founder and chief executive, Michael Doyle was not giving much away yesterday, and declinined to say whether the company had any licensees or any revenues from its technology, which has been sold as a product called zMap ad will shortly be part of a new product set called Spynergy. Doyle would not comment either on suggestions that Netscape Communications Corp ‘s technology also used plug-ins and therefore might be similarly liable: we’re concentrating on Microsoft right now, he said.
A typical example of a zMap image is one of a revolving globe that enables a user to be directed to a page of information about a particular region or country depending on where on the spinning globe they click. The suit was filed is US District Court in South Dearborn, Illinois, near Chicago, where Eolas is based.