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back to article Google, Facebook cop for preposterous patent potshot

Gathering information from around the internet and presenting it on a mobile phone is protected by patent, according to Wireless Ink, which is suing Google and Facebook over it. The patent covers the aggregation of information for presentation to interested individuals on a mobile phone, and was granted in October last year …

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I keep reading these patent claims...

And I think, surely there should be some automatic system in place that nullifies any patent that becomes either common knowledge or de-facto standard, or the norm or whatever prior to the patent holder being able to or wishing to enforce their claim.

In other words, if you want to protect your patent, you do it from day one, not when everybody else has already independently stumbled upon the same scenario or solution.

Am I right?

Some of this stuff, although slightly inventive ten years ago, is so old hat now, it's unbelievable!

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Welcome

Nail on head...

You have hit the nail on the head why this patent is invalid. There is no significant inventive step thats patentable.

Since so many people have, when faced with this same problem independently "invented" the same solution, then this patent is not enforcable. The Inventive requirement of patents is that the invention is not obvious to to someone who is skilled in the field.

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FAIL

title

Another day, another patent to be fucked around with.

When finally will this end?

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when?

when parasite lawyers stop making millions of pounds out of it. SO not any time soon then.

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FAIL

When will it end?

Probably when the US Patent Office wakes up to the real world.

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when parasites...

...stop employing parasitical lawyers in an attempt to scam the system, so not any time soon, then.

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A plurity of balls = b*****ks

As soon as a patent uses the word "plurity" you know it's been rewritten in doublespeak to make simple/obvious content look more complex than it really is.

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Compuserve

This sounds a lot like Compuserve groups (Anyone still remember them?)

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@spodula

And Compuserve got 'em from Delphi, BIX and The WELL, not necessarily in that order. Before that, there was Fidonet and other BBSes. Usenet figures in there somewhere, too. All of the above had the ability to customize which bits were presented to any given user.

The only difference here is the display (telephone) ... but I remember friends getting sports scores and the like on cell phones, just like they did on pagers, in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Same basic idea, no matter how you look at it.

If the lawyers can't find prior art, I'll be shocked.

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FAIL

Getting just stupid...

I have to agree with Rabbers on this. This constant back and forth business with patents is getting to be like all of these companies are two year olds screaming and fighting with each other.

At what point does a court judge just look at these two squabbling companies that happen to stand before him and say, "Shut the hell up both of you!!!" Patents that are so broad reaching like this and so vague in the end are just dumb!

Perhaps I should patent the ability to put several letters together to form words and then further patent the idea that those words could form sentences, and then add a third patent on a "special" mark at the end of a sentence that signifies that sentence has come to an end in a unique way.

If I can do that, then MAN oh MAN do I ever have a load of targets to hit now! (Rabbers, I'm starting with you.... :) )

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@Getting just stupid..

Actually it's been stupid for a long time, and it is getting worse.

When corporations have the power to dictate the law of the land, common sense is no obstacle. Many stupid practices have come about citing corporate interests as justification...

It goes way beyond ridiculous software patents. There's the corporate bailouts, offshoring of local jobs, unfair tax subsidies and laws, bad quality standards, deceptive contracts/advertising, elimination of customer rights (DRM). It's not just the bad corporate apples, these are standard practices that are justified in the name of corporate profits. The fact that at least 50% these profits are funneled to the wealthiest 1% of society seems to be off the political radar.

Not that I'm surprised at any of this, politician and corporate interests tend to go hand in hand.

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Go

Ideas

I am going to file a patent for ideas. So whenever anyone has an idea I own it!!!

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Coat

Obvious question.

".....just the one member and very few showing any notable activity."

Dear Winksite. Are you SCO in disguise?

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WTF?

standards ?

I know, let's take some standards, apply them and patent it as novel. The majority of these nonsense patents are granted by, effectively corrupt, patent officials when it should be obvious that they are just the application of a well known and agreed technology. This is just one example that should have been rejected on m,ultiple ground, the first of which should have been the novelty test.

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Becoming a lawyer

Can't help thinking I should have become a lawyer, coz only they are going to win.

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FAIL

The US Patent and Trademark Office is entirely incompetent

How do patents like this even get filed, let alone granted? The entire concept of software patents is asinine, and amounts to patenting an idea. Innovative companies have to waste their time and money fighting spurious patent suits from non practicing entities. This is time and money which is being poured into lawyer's pockets, when they could be funding engineers.

The US Patent System needs reform. The USPTO also needs to hire some competent staff, staff who actually examine patents for originality rather than just acting as a green stamp.

And yet, the Union of U.S. Patent Examiners, and the Patent Office Professional Association have been continually against patent reform. Maybe because patent reform would actually give them jobs to do, and would weed out those snivelling incompetent yes men.

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software patents are asburd!!

How is it even possible to patent such common sense/simple actions.

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Neologisms

asburd == abused & absurd?

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Flame

Setting aside for the moment

any issues you may have with the patent and/or the timing, wouldn't it be great if they won and refused to license the tech to google and facebook, and also won damages. I mean it makes me warm and fuzzy inside thinking of those two companies actually getting the screwing they have been giving to the public, and the internet, for all these years.

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D'you know what?

I actually welcome cases like this.

Why?

Because the more of them there are, and the more publicity they get, the greater the chances that reality might intrude and the whole broken mess might actually get sorted out.

Incurable optimist? Me?

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So do I

It is these mega corps that are so keen on these sorts of patents in the first place so it is great to see them being hoisted on their own petards as often as possible.

These whitwhat people may nothing more than a bunch of pond scum trolls, but they are just playing by the very set of rules that companies like apple and microsoft put in place to suit their own agendas.

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Stop

Cannot set aside a principle

I will admit to a little schadenfreude when Microsoft lost the "custom xml" patent case to i4i, but in the end, little good can come out of such a defeat.

Software patents are a rotting albatross hanging around the neck of IT, threatening to stifle innovation and break standards and interoperability. Any court outcome that lends legitimacy to the concept, is an injury to everyone except for the patent troll.

I sincerely hope that this gets thrown out of court, or that it ends, as did the SCO case, with Wireless Ink losing their shirts.

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Ultimate Patent

Patent Trolling Patent: http://ow.ly/1ghNr

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Winky.

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Lovely!

Now if it could only be applied, patent trolls would actually feel a bit of the pain.

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Anonymous Coward

USPTO liability

This will only be fixed if USPTO is made financially liable for issuing bad patents. Since 2000, they have completely ignored the prior art and inventive tests in their patent laws and issued any patent to anyone for the fee.

If they become financially liable for all the damaged done by later overturned patents, they would have an incentive to actually do their jobs.

It isn't really "Software Patents" that are the problem, and "Business Process" patents, they were just symptoms, it is the USPTO wish to issue as many patents for as many things with a little checking as possible.

They just want to sell licenses to things, and collect the fee. "license to open barber shop on Chipping Norton high street", granted! "license to charge a fee to cross the London bridge"... granted, anything they can argue is patentable they grant patents to.

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Summed up in one word

GREED

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Black Helicopters

US PTO won't go away

Blanket approve all patents = lots of lawsuits = judges, courts and lawyers busy and employed and paid large sums of money, which gets taxed....

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Happy

Daft

How stupid do you have to be to take on Google and Facebook, at the same time, over something like this? It'd be like, oh some old unix house taking on IBM over Unix copyrights.

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Grenade

A plurality of olfactory processes connected to farts and burps

You cannot make patent offfices liable for damages on "faulty" patents and expect to be able to patent even something such as the humble paperclip for anything less than a king's ransom. Who can afford that? Let me think ...

In any case, the state of play is now such that startups and small entrepeneurs cannot compete with large, established, corporates, since these companies patent every plurality of farts and burps and call their lawyers like they were drawing a six-gun, back in the days of the old West, simply for being "looked-at funny",.

Basically, if you're a startup, the system is broken. If you're a large, established, corporate, it's all fine and dandy and the mindset of the latter (execs, shareholders, markets) are so entrenched in the ethos of the patent system that no one is going to change that anytime soon.

Reducing the term and validity of a patent (in progressive stages) to something like five years (at most), might go a long way to fixing some of the mess.

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