Embedded Media Patent Suit Targets Playboy, New Frontier

Oct 6, 2009 3:00 PM PST
TYLER, Texas — Two adult companies have been hit with 20 mainstream companies in a lawsuit over Eolas Technologies’ patents on technology that allows website browsers to include embedded media and applications.

Playboy Enterprises and New Frontier Media and the others are being sued by Eolas Technologies, which said the companies are infringing on U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906, which is described as the ability of web browsers to act as platforms for interactive embedded applications.

Its official U.S. Patent Office header reads as a “distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.”

Eolas also said the companies also infringe on U.S. Patent No. 7,599,985, which updates U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906 and covers plugins and AJAX to embed applications.

Other companies named as defendants to the complaint include Adobe, Amazon, Argosy Publishing, Blockbuster, CDW, Citigroup, eBay, Frito-Lay, Go Daddy, Google, J.C. Penney, JPMorgan Chase, Office Depot, Perot Systems, Rent-a-Center, Staples, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments and Yahoo.

Eolas Technologies, which holds numerous technology patents, previously won a $565 million patent-case judgment before settling with Microsoft in 2007 on the same patent. The company said it developed the patents more than 15 years ago.

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