Court Rejects Wang’s Browser Suit

Netscape Communications Corporation this week announced that the patent claims raised by Wang Global against the company have been dismissed by a federal judge.


The court also rejected a similar suit filed by Wang against America Online, Inc.


District Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that
Wang’s patent on the “Videotex” system of the early 1980s was “generically and fundamentally different” to today’s Internet Web browsers and related Web technologies.


The lawsuit or “patent claim” (originally filed by Wang Global last fall) moved into the spotlight recently when Netscape enlisted the help of
the Internet development community via its Mozilla.org Web site. Netscape asked developers to locate examples of similar inventions that predated those developed by Wang.


The judge decided that Wang’s original patent did not cover pages that are
displayed on the World Wide Web, and that Videotex was a proprietary, closed
system that depended on a central database supplier.


This led the judge to conclude that since many different information suppliers actually make up the content of the Web, Netscape’s browser and AOL’s client software does not infringe on Wang’s patent.


For more information on the decision or Netscape’s Web browser, visit the
Netscape home page.

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