What Do Facebook and Wal-Mart Have in Common?


olas Technologies and the Regents of the University of California are together suing Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) for infringing four interactive technology patents, which were issued to the university and licensed to Eolas, a Texas-based company that was founded to help the university commercialize patent technology.
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Facebook has responded saying the lawsuit is without merit, while Wal-Mart is taking the allegations “seriously” and told Reuters it is “looking into the matter.” Disney has not yet commented on the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday.
Two of the patents cited in the lawsuit were declared invalid in February by a Texas jury in an action targeting Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and others. It is unclear by which process Eolas was able to file another suit concerning these same patents.
Eolas settled patent litigation against Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2007 for an undisclosed sum. The University of California said at the time its portion of the settlement totaled $30.4 million.
At this time, it’s not clear whether the lawsuit has legs, nor how much Eolas may be entitled to in a settlement.

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