Eolas Patent to be Reviewed

Eolas Patent to be Reviewed

The Eolas Patent is to be reviewed by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

See the CNET article of November 11, 2003 by Paul Festa, Staff Writer, CNET News.com.

Eolas Patent 5,838,906 at the USPTO

One can access the record of this patent at the USPTO website by entering the Patent Nr. 5,838,906 in the appropriate search box which gives, inter alia, the following results:

Application Number – 08/324,443 Customer Number: –

Filing or 371(c) Date: 10-17-1994 Status: Patented Case

Application Type: Utility Status Date: 10-13-1998

Examiner Name: DINH, DUNG C Location: –

Group Art Unit: 2756 Location Date: 11-10-2003

Confirmation Number: 5163 Earliest Publication No: –

Attorney Docket Number: 02307553 Earliest Publication Date: –

Class/ Sub-Class: 395/200.32 Patent Number: 5,838,906

First Named Inventor: MICHAEL D. DOYLE, ALAMEDA, CA (US) Issue Date of Patent: 11-17-1998

Eolas Patent 5,838,906 at the USPTO – File History

File Contents History

Number Date Contents Description

57 11-05-2003 Application scanned in CRU and can be accessed by the REPS system in the Public Search Room

56 10-30-2003 Record a Petition Decision of Granted for Commissioner-Initiated Reexam Rroceeding [Note of LawPundit: This in part mistyped garbled text in a case of this importance does not inspire confidence in the USPTO]

55 10-30-2003 Petition Entered

54 02-23-2001 Termination of Official Search

53 02-23-2001 Case Found

52 02-23-2001 Official Search Conducted

51 02-23-2001 Case Reported Lost

50 11-17-1998 Recordation of Patent Grant Mailed

49 10-13-1998 Weekly Patent Issue Receipt

48 07-13-1998 Weekly Patent Issue Receipt

47 04-07-1998 Mailroom Date of Issue Fee Payment

46 06-11-1998 Drawing(s) Processing Completed

45 06-02-1998 Drawing(s) Matched to Application

44 05-06-1998 Application Received to Match Drawing(s)

43 04-15-1998 Power to Make Copies and/or Inspect

42 04-09-1998 Application Ordered to Match Drawing(s)

41 04-09-1998 Drawing(s) Received at Publications

40 04-07-1998 Mailroom Date of Drawing(s)

39 10-31-1997 Miscellaneous Incoming Letter

38 11-07-1994 Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) Filed

37 03-30-1998 Mail Notice of Allowance

36 03-30-1998 Notice of Allowance Data Verification Completed

35 01-27-1998 Examiner Interview Summary Record (PTOL – 413)

34 03-30-1998 Notice of Allowability

33 03-02-1998 Notice of Appeal Filed

32 03-02-1998 Request for Extension of Time – Granted

31 01-22-1998 Date Forwarded to Examiner

30 12-29-1997 Amendment after Final Rejection

29 12-29-1997 Supplemental Papers – Oath or Declaration

28 12-29-1997 Request for Extension of Time – Granted

27 11-06-1997 Examiner Interview Summary Record (PTOL – 413)

26 11-06-1997 Examiner Interview Summary Record (PTOL – 413)

25 08-25-1997 Mail Final Rejection (PTOL – 326)

24 08-22-1997 Final Rejection

23 06-19-1997 Date Forwarded to Examiner

22 06-05-1997 Response after Non-Final Action

21 03-26-1997 Mail Non-Final Rejection

20 03-21-1997 Non-Final Rejection

19 02-24-1997 Examiner Interview Summary Record (PTOL – 413)

18 02-20-1997 Date Forwarded to Examiner

17 02-19-1997 Amendment after Final Rejection

16 01-24-1997 Mail Final Rejection (PTOL – 326)

15 01-23-1997 Final Rejection

14 01-08-1997 Date Forwarded to Examiner

13 01-08-1997 Amendment after Final Rejection

12 01-08-1997 Affidavit(s) (Rule 131 or 132) or Exhibit(s) Received

11 12-13-1996 Mail Final Rejection (PTOL – 326)

10 12-12-1996 Final Rejection

9 10-09-1996 Date Forwarded to Examiner

8 08-09-1996 Response after Non-Final Action

7 05-06-1996 Mail Non-Final Rejection

6 05-03-1996 Non-Final Rejection

5 04-08-1996 Case Docketed to Examiner in GAU

4 03-24-1995 Case Docketed to Examiner in GAU

3 03-14-1995 Application Captured on Microfilm

2 12-30-1994 Application Is Now Complete

1 11-18-1994 Incomplete Application under Rule 53(b) – Filing Date Assigned

Eolas Patent 5,838,906 at the USPTO – Abstract

Clicking the button “Published Documents” at that same page gives, inter alia, the following text:

“United States Patent 5,838,906

Doyle , et al. November 17, 1998


Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document

Abstract [of the Patent]

A system allowing a user of a browser program on a computer connected to an open distributed hypermedia system to access and execute an embedded program object. The program object is embedded into a hypermedia document much like data objects. The user may select the program object from the screen. Once selected the program object executes on the user’s (client) computer or may execute on a remote server or additional remote computers in a distributed processing arrangement. After launching the program object, the user is able to interact with the object as the invention provides for ongoing interprocess communication between the application object (program) and the browser program. One application of the embedded program object allows a user to view large and complex multi-dimensional objects from within the browser’s window. The user can manipulate a control panel to change the viewpoint used to view the image. The invention allows a program to execute on a remote server or other computers to calculate the viewing transformations and send frame data to the client computer thus providing the user of the client computer with interactive features and allowing the user to have access to greater computing power than may be available at the user’s client computer.”

[Eolas Patent 5,838,906 at the USPTO – Summary of the Invention]


The present invention provides a method for running embedded program objects in a computer network environment. The method includes the steps of providing at least one client workstation and one network server coupled to the network environment where the network environment is a distributed hypermedia environment; displaying, on the client workstation, a portion of a hypermedia document received over the network from the server, where the hypermedia document includes an embedded controllable application; and interactively controlling the embedded controllable application from the client workstation via communication sent over the distributed hypermedia environment.

The present invention allows a user at a client computer connected to a network to locate, retrieve and manipulate objects in an interactive way. The invention not only allows the user to use a hypermedia format to locate and retrieve program objects, but also allows the user to interact with an application program located at a remote computer. Interprocess communication between the hypermedia browser and the embedded application program is ongoing after the program object has been launched. The user is able to use a vast amount of computing power beyond that which is contained in the user’s client computer.

In one application, high resolution three dimensional images are processed in a distributed manner by several computers located remotely from the user’s client computer. This amounts to providing parallel distributed processing for tasks such as volume rendering or three dimensional image transformation and display. Also, the user is able to rotate, scale and otherwise reposition the viewpoint with respect to these images without exiting the hypermedia browser software. The control and interaction of viewing the image may be provided within the same window that the browser is using assuming the environment is a “windowing” environment. The viewing transformation and volume rendering calculations may be performed by remote distributed computer systems.

Once an image representing a new viewpoint is computed the frame image is transmitted over the network to the user’s client computer where it is displayed at a designated position within a hypermedia document. By transmitting only enough information to update the image, the need for a high bandwidth data connection is reduced. Compression can be used to further reduce the bandwidth requirements for data transmission.

Other applications of the invention are possible. For example, the user can operate a spreadsheet program that is being executed by one or more other computer systems connected via the network to the user’s client computer. Once the spreadsheet program has calculated results, the results may be sent over the network to the user’s client computer for display to the user. In this way, computer systems located remotely on the network can be used to provide the computing power that may be required for certain tasks and to reduce the data bandwidth by only transmitting results of the computations.

Table II, below, shows an example of an HTML tag format used by the present invention to embed a link to an application program within a hypermedia document.




TYPE = “type”

HREF = “href”

WIDTH = width

HEIGHT = height

“>” [parentheses around the arrows added by LawPundit to disable this command in this posting]


In any case, that gives an overview of the “invention”. Were the patent laws intended to apply to these kinds of patent claims? Has anything really been “invented”? Or is this patent an anomalistic anachronism of outdated patent laws?

Further Citations to the Eolas Patent

Further citations to the Eolas patent are:

via moreover.com at InternetLawWeb, the USPTO decision to review the patent was reported by BeSpacific

E-Week “Eolas Remains Confident in Face of Patent Re-examination” by Matt Hicks, November 12, 2003

Electric News Net, “US Patent Office will review Eolas claim”, by The Register, November 13, 2003

Seattle Times, ” ‘Outcry’ from Internet community triggers rare patent review”, by Jonathan Krim, The Washington Post

BizReport, “Patent Office Reviews Disputed Web Patent”, November 13, 2003

SunSpot.net, “U.S. reconsiders 1998 patent critics say could hamper Web”, November 14, 2003

CBSNews, “Internet Patent In Dispute”, November 12, 2003