The Eolas patents were uniquely threatening to the Web and drew Tim Berners-Lee’s personal attention. Christian Payne / flickr The inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, had never testified in court before last year. In February 2012, he left Cambridge to fly down to Tyler, an East Texas city of about 100,000, to testify at a patent trial. It was the culmination of a bold campaign by a man named Michael Doyle to levy a vast patent tax on the modern web. Berners-Lee was one of several web pioneers who came through the court during the course of a four-day trial, which ultimately convinced a jury to invalidate two patents owned by Eolas, the tiny patent-holding company that Doyle and his lawyers transformed into one of the most fearsome “patent trolls” of all time.
Now Eolas appears to be gone for good.
The company mounted a lengthy appeal, but it was all for naught; this morning, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed the jury’s verdict without comment. 2