The Public Patent Foundation describes itself as a not-for-profit group that aims to protect the public from the "harms caused by the patent system" by seeking to invalidate patents which it believes have been wrongly awarded.
The IBM patent preceded EpicRealm's by 16 months. "This is one of the strongest cases I've ever had," he said.
Ravicher added that the foundation decided to dispute the patent because E picRealm has been aggressively seeking royalty payments, and had filed its lawsuits in Eastern Texas where the courts have traditionally been favourable towards patent holders in legal disputes.
EpicRealm used to operate as a web acceleration firm during the dotcom boom and stopped marketing its products about three years ago. Last year it started to seek royalty payments for its patents.
The firm filed 13 lawsuits against website operators last year, including eHarmony, FriendFinder, Herbalife and Safelite. Five of these, including the cases against eHarmony and Safelite, have since been settled.
Although neither company is directly targeted by the lawsuits, they supply software that delivers dynamic web pages.
Oracle and QuinStreet are required to indemnify their customers under the terms of their licence agreements. Oracle has been forced to do so by Safelite, and QuinStreet by Herbalife.
Most parties opposing EpicRealm have charged that the company's patents are invalid. The Public Patent Foundation, however, is the first to ask the Patent Office to re-examine the patent.
The Patent Office will decide whether it will do so within three months. The actual re-examination procedure can take several years.
A lawyer representing EpicRealm did not return a phone call seeking comment.
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