Eolas Technology, a company built on a patent that originated at the University of California, has gone Texan. Eolas—having settled a previous infringement suit against Microsoft after winning a jury verdict of more than $500 million—this week asserted its 5,838,906 patent in a suit filed against 23 companies, including large banks, technology companies, and retailers. The goal, obviously, is to amass a new fortune via the patent wielded against Microsoft, as well its flashier child-patent, No. 7,599,985. The common thread connecting the targeted companies: they all employ browser plug-ins and “AJAX” technologies that have been used in some form on the Web for more than a decade.
Despite that, Eolas attorney Mike McKool of McKool Smith is confident the '906 patent will hold up in the current litigation. Speaking with The Am Law Litigation Daily, McKool emphasized that the patent has already been tested three times in PTO reexaminations. (It’s worth noting, of course, that none of the present defendants were around for those hearings.)
As for Eolas itself, the patent-holding company has evolved since it was last heard from. It had just one employee—Dr. Mike Doyle, who lives in the Chicago area—when it sued Microsoft, and its payroll doesn’t appear to have grown much since then. The Eolas website, however, claims the company now does research and development in addition to enforcing patents, though the links its research accomplishments are mostly brief descriptions of patents or patent applications.