Overly-broad Internet and software patents threaten small businesses. Such is the insightful point of view of Internet guru, Don Pavlish.
Point in fact: In 1994 Eolas Technologies obtained a U.S. patent claiming to have invented the concept of browser plugins. Plugins are used to seamlessly integrate Flash, PDF, and Java into websites. Eolas filed suit and obtained a verdict of a half billion dollars against Microsoft. If Microsoft does not get the decision overturned or settle with Eolas, then browser plugins could be stripped from Internet Explorer.
At some point, millions of businesses–many of them small and midsize businesses– with Flash plugins, may be faced with having to re-do their websites to eliminate such plugins.
According to Pavlish, if businesses would rather spend their limited Website funds adding new features instead of re-doing existing elements, they should let the Patent Office and legislators know how they feel. “Should the patent office continue to allow the internet to be treated as a strip mine for intellectual property gold-diggers, the cost of doing e-commerce will rise, consumer choices will be limited, and innovation will be stifled — hardly a hospitable online environment for America’s small businesses.”
Read more here in Craintech.