Eolas no more?

According to The Register, the US patent office has nullified Eolas' patent covering the embedding of plug-ins into web pages. This should come as a breath of relief to the Flash community, as proposed changes to Internet Explorer to make it comply with the patent would have prompted the modification of any site with Flash content.

The article states that Eolas Technologies has 60 days to appeal the ruling.

Hopefully this move signals a larger one towards the eventual nullification of software patents in general. As a creator and owner of intellectual property, I should be the first to support sotware patents but instead, as many software developers do, I see them rather as dangerous roadblocks to the evolution and progress of scientific knowledge and a threat to the future of the Internet.

Currently the EU does not recognize software patents but there is strong pressure to get it to do so. I hope that the EU will not repeat the costly mistake that the US has made on this matter an that we will eventually see a policy shift in the US regarding software patents in general.