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Tim Berners-Lee testifies as Google and Amazon win patent dispute against Eolas

An appeals court this week upheld a lower court ruling regarding patents that covered the basic workings of the Internet, coming down in favour of some of the world's biggest tech firms.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that Amazon, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, and JC Penney are not guilty of infringing on two patents held by Eolas Technologies and the Regents of the University of California, because those patents are in fact invalid.

"This Court affirmed the judgment or decision that was appealed. None of the relief sought in the appeal was granted," according to the appeals court, which did not release an opinion explaining its decision.

The battle dates back to October 2009, when Eolas sued nearly two dozen companies for violating two of its patents. The first patent focused on technology that enables web browsers to act as platforms for fully interactive embedded applications and provides rich online experiences.

The second patent was for technology that allows websites to add fully interactive embedded applications to their online offerings through the use of plug-in and AJAX web development techniques.

Last year, the tech companies prevailed in a Texas district court, and Eolas appealed, prompting this week's decision.

As noted by Bloomberg, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, was among those who testified against Eolas during trial.

Eolas also sued Microsoft in 1999, winning a $521 million (£339 million) settlement in August 2003. Microsoft appealed the following year, but the case was remanded. In 2005, the Supreme Court refused to hear Microsoft's appeal, so Microsoft tried to go through the Patent & Trademark Office. When that also failed, Microsoft and Eolas announced in 2007 that they had agreed upon a settlement, the terms of which were not released.