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Eolas Technologies Inc. acted on behalf of the University of California Regents today to sue Facebook, Wal-Mart, and Disney over four patents related to hypermedia display. The University of California has licensed the four patents to Eolas, who is litigating on behalf of the UC Regents. The company gained notoriety several years ago when it sued Microsoft in a lengthy courtroom battle which ended with a settlement in 2007. Eolas was initially founded to litigate on behalf of the UC system's patents, and has earned critics for its aggressive litigation.

The patents, according to the complaint filed against Facebook in the Eastern District of Texas today, include patent No. 5,838,906 which covers a "distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking an external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document," and patents No. 7,599,985; No. 8,082,293; and No. 8,086,662; all of which pertain to a "distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically invoking an external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document."

Reuters reported that, "a University of California spokesman said it considered the patents public assets and 'should be paid a fair value when a third party exploits that university asset for profit.'" Meanwhile, Eolas' complaint did not enumerate which parts of Facebook's website and holdings were in violation specifically, but wrote that, "the acts and practices of Facebook in infringing and/or inducing the infringement of one or more claims of each of the patents-in-suit, Plaintiffs have been, are being, and, unless such acts and practices are enjoined by the Court, will continue to suffer injury to their business and property rights."

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Moebius, featured in Ken Viola’s 1987 documentary The Masters of Comic Book Art, hosted by Harlan Ellison. It’s one of Moebius’ few on-camera interviews in English, and certainly the earliest one that I’ve seen.

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