Regents of the University of California, Eolas Technologies Sue Facebook for Patent Infringement

Yesterday, the Regents of the University of California and Eolas Technologies, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The suit alleges that Facebook has infringed on four different patents owned by the Regents and to which Eolas has an exclusive license.

Eolas was founded by Dr. Michael D. Doyle, who, according to the company website, previously served as Director for the Center of Knowledge Management at the University of California – San Francisco. During his tenure there, Dr. Doyle reportedly led a team of researchers to develop technology that led to the 5,838,906 patent (“’906 Patent”) entitled “Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.” According to the Eolas Technologies website, the patent “enabled Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications.”

The ’906 Patent has been the subject of prior litigation. In 2007, Eolas and the Regents of the University of California were awarded a $565 judgment against Microsoft. The award was stayed on appeal, and the parties subsequently settled for a confidential amount.

Eolas has also sued such companies as Adobe, Apple, Citigroup, Google, and JPMorgan Chase over its 7,599,985 patent, which is among the patents listed in the present case against Facebook.

According to the complaint, Facebook infringed on the following four patents:

  • USPTO Patent No. 5,838,906: “Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”
  • USPTO Patent No. 7,599,985: “Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”
  • USPTO Patent No. 8,082,293: “Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”
  • USPTO Patent No. 8,086,662: “Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”

Complaint in Regents of the University of California v. Facebook, Inc.