University of California sues Facebook, Wal-mart over patents
In the latest turn of events, some of the major companies of the US have been sued by the University of California. Companies such as Facebook, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney will be facing the trial over patents dispute.
Infringement seems to be the reason behind the filing of trial for over four patents. Eolas Technologies Inc. and the regents of The University of California have taken up a notch against these biggies.
Eolas Technologies was founded to help The University of California commercialize patent technology. Company’s website states “including patents Doyle and his team helped develop while he worked at The University of California, San Francisco."
Michael Doyle is the company’s chairman who has been licensed for these patents. The patents for interactive technology including hypermedia display were issued to the University.
A spokesman for the University was quoted as saying “It considered the patents public asset and should be paid a fair value when a third party exploits that university asset for profit.”
In response to this matter a Facebook spokesman said that the lawsuit lacks genuine reason. “We will fight it vigorously.” he said. On the other hand a Wal-Mart spokesman said that the world’s largest retailer respects the property rights of others. “We take these allegations seriously and are looking into the matter.” he said. Whereas Disney has still not responded on this matter.
This is not the first time that Eolas Technologies are in the news. Back in 2007 they settled a suit with Microsoft Corp. for an undisclosed amount. The portion of the University at that time is believed to be around $30.4 million.
There is another twist to this story as earlier this year two of the patents included in the latest lawsuits were declared invalid by a Texas jury in a different case. The earlier lawsuit was targeted at Amazon Inc., Google, Yahoo and others. It is still unclear as by what process Eolas have launched new lawsuits based on those previous patents.