AGRR Magazine

Oracle, EpicRealm Battle Gives Reason to Pause, No Concern for Safelite

Last week, included an article regarding a recent legal dispute between software company Oracle and EpicRealm, "a former web acceleration company" over the patents that govern "dynamic web pages." (CLICK HERE to read the original story.)

According to online encyclopedia Wickipedia, dynamic web pages contain either pictures or images that move or change without the viewer refreshing the page, or are created "on-the-fly by server-side programs."

Why is this so important? One reason is that in 2005, EpicRealm filed suit against companies it felt infringed on its patents pertaining to how dynamic websites are created and among those companies named was auto glass giant, Safelite. Safelite has since settled its involvement in the suit and doesn't foresee the current battle between Oracle and EpicRealm having an impact on the company.

The other reason the lawsuit could potentially affect the auto glass industry is that the methods used to create websites and web business could be a target for future patent lawsuits.

How concerned should the average shop owner be about the situation? Gary Hart, president of Arizona-based software provider eDirectGlass, doesn't think there's much reason to be concerned on the shop end of things if the company uses legitimate software services.

"As long as software developers pay licensing fees to the respective IP holders and hold their customers harmless in the event of an IP issue, then shop owners can rest easy," Hart said. "The real threat is to anyone who delivers applications to shop owners. For instance, eDirectGlass is developed and maintained on a 100-percent Microsoft platform. Our agreement with Microsoft is very similar to the one Oracle has with its customers in that they will indemnify eDirectGlass should an intellectual property issue arise. In return, we do the same for our customers holding them harmless."

If a company has software designed in-house, they should also be safe, so long as the designer doesn't infringe on a published patent, Hart explained. The key there is to ensure that the software designers know what is and isn't patented.

eDirectGlass has a patent pending both in the United States and in Canada.

"It is likely that one day we may be enforcing our rights as an intellectual property holder against those who may eventually attempt to copy our model and bring POS to the Internet," Hart said.

No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.