back to article Company sues Facebook over somethingorother

An Ohio-based technology company is suing Facebook for patent infringement, claiming it invented the platform the insanely popular social networking site uses to store and manage information. Leader Technology claims Facebook infringes on its patent for "dynamic association of electronically stored information with iterative …

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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    "a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships"

    Ha ha ha ha! Sounds like databases 101, circa 1990.

    Apart from that, if they sue for "copyright infringement" based on a patent, they need to stop snorting bolivian nose ajax ASAP.

  2. Steve Evans

    Good grief!

    If I'm not mistaken, that "patent" for want of a better work to describe most of what fills the US patent office, covers pretty much anything with a database behind it!

    I'm sure if MS had actually got their DB based file system sorted out for Vista like they said they were going to initially, they would fall fowl to this vague "patent".

    Now that is a fight I would have liked to see... Munch, swallow... BUUUURP!

  3. Jeff
    Flame

    Bogus Patent

    Just finished reading the patent.

    Sourceforge.net which has been around since before 2000 is prior art. This application wasn't filed until Dec. 10, 2003 - pretty late in the game to be trying to patent groupware don't ya think? Considering they didn't invent any of the individual technologies their like to prevent others from using.

    The overly vague patent covers essentially any application that 'provides a single point of contact for multiple users and resources' especially if it involves the uploading of files.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Intellectual Property like hell

    How can you patent a database structure - oh hell I've infringed their patents on numerous occasions too.

    <thumb><thumb><thumb>

    that must be the feds at the door now

  5. P Saunders
    Paris Hilton

    Ahh, that old relational workflow whatsit

    Hmm, looks like Leader Technology has violated my patent for an organic vertical obfuscatorial information disemination and storage system capable of linking dynamically with similar dynamic systems equipped enhanced information flow and verbal defecatory storage units. You'll be hearing from my lawyer, Mr McKibben.

    Paris, 'cause her icon is the only one that gets a rise outta me.

  6. It wasnt me

    Tossers

    Now obviously facebook is a load of tosh and the the internet (world?) would be a better place without it, but these a-holes look like they're suing becacuse facebook are using a database. Why do merkins like giving so much moolah to lawyers? Can I sue these morons cos they've copied my "evolving out of the pond" or "breathing oxygen" patent ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a surprise!!!

    Somebody else invented Facebook this week.

    "dynamic association of electronically stored information with iterative workflow change,"

    Fuck me! In a game of Bullshit (or Buzzword) Bingo, you'd be screaming "House!" after reading that .

    It almost sounds like the entire suit is designed to confuse the legal people that much that they just agree to save looking stupid.

  8. Hollerith

    So when did they notice?

    I mean, Facebook's been around for a little while. When did someone say 'gee whiz, that concept sounds dashed familiar. Think I'll pop in and take a look. Zounds, they're using something that isn't theirs, the blighters.'

  9. Neil Stansbury

    Oh that's new...

    "The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships."

    Does anyone know a relational database that doesn't "facilitate" this?

    The US patent system is embarrassingly pathetic.

  10. JK
    Paris Hilton

    Can someone enlighten me as to what...

    Can someone enlighten me as to what "a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships" actually means?

    Because, the way I'm reading it, they should be suing Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on... not Facebook?

  11. Fab De Marco

    So......

    Are they saying that they invented databases?!

  12. Digger

    bollocks

    the patent states "The tool is a unified, horizontal system for communications..." patent defense is simple because facebook uses vertical systems.

    leader.com what a pile of gone white and moldy, yet somehow still steaming defecation.

  13. Steve

    Why bother inovating

    ...when there's some nasty patent office out there handing out patent's on inventions which do not exist.

    A change in the law is needed, perhaps so these companies should have to demonstrate it working.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. AndyC

    <title>

    ...and they waited till now to file suit?

  16. Barrie Shepherd
    Joke

    Facebook & US Patent

    What a load of Patent gobbledegook - I would not be surprised to find that the US Patent Office has granted a patent along the lines of " a device which allows the transfer of information by changing the volumetric shape and size of the storage and transmission medium while simultaneously creating airflows structured to cause interference and resonance thus enabling the transmission of meaningful intelligence to a third party or other intended recipient" – alternatively they could be talking out of their arse!

    Thank God (and her aids) that silly Patents are harder to get in the UK – lets hope it stays that way.

  17. Ben Gibson
    Thumb Down

    Patents

    I really hate them, all I hear about them is stupid lawsuits where someone is suing someone else for writing a song, because apparently they patented music back in the 80's, or BT patented the hyper-link. Are there any good examples of patent lawsuits? Where something worthwhile was done?

  18. Iain

    Gone fishin'

    As above

  19. kevin elliott
    Thumb Down

    Hardly new stuff

    People have been doing this for years... The application was filed December 2002. This appears to be a case of patenting something operational systems were doing a long time ago.... And then trying to screw people. Sadly someone granted a patent.... When will this nonsense stop?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    man

    Man the American patent system really does suck s--t from a donkeys arse doesn't it?

    I'm pretty sure that patent describes a hellaofalotta applications, and it's possible that there may just be a few hundred thousand pieces of prior art.

  21. John Macintyre
    Thumb Down

    er.. is it just me

    I'm guessing they're summarising so I'd need to read up but...

    "a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships."

    So... basically any darn application with a relational database right? I'd love to see them prove facebook wrong, then go after every other bloody website on the internet who must infringe as well. How come bebo/myspace aren't targets, do they not make enough dosh?

  22. yeah, right.

    drowning

    The people who define the rules for the USPTO need to be taken out back and drowned. Every last sodding one of them.

  23. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Read the patent.

    By f*** it's vague.

    What it seems to boil down to is: Data is owned by users. File systems know which user owns which data no matter where it's stored. Don't you dare load this information into a relational database to provide a user-centric view of your data or we'll sue you.

    It's official. Patent trolls have got to the stage where if you want to catalogue the contents of your sock drawer, you'd best check for patent infringement before loading your list of socks into a sodding database.....

  24. F Seiler

    What exactly did they invent or patent?

    From the abstract, this looks a lot like they describe (part of) a filesystem (folders _do_ have permission flags for users..., unless maybe you use FAT). Maybe the newish thing about it were that the whole thing shall run on a DBMS. Good job inventing something so radically new in 2006.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    SQL?

    Isn't what money grabbing ambulance chaser - oops sorry, Leader describing SQL server? maybe they should sue Mysql and MS at the same time.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Patent Trolls

    OK the recession is officially here...

    Imagine the scene if you will

    CEOs office - "Right then you corporate lawyer leeches, our revenues are going down the toilet, how can we make money ?"

    Cheif self-important leech - " I have a cunning plan - What patents do you have? And who is doing something vaguely similar?" Subtext - You might not win the law suit, but I'll make loadsa money

    Happens every downturn -and nobody in IT wins

  27. Chris
    Stop

    hmm...

    Sounds like the US patent office could use a good kick in the spuds.

  28. Daniel B.
    Thumb Down

    Oooh, a "database" patent!

    "a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships"

    So they'll actually have to sue Oracle, IBM (for DB2), Sybase, Sun/MySQL, Firebird, PostgreSQL because all of those are capable of "many-to-may, one-to-many relationship mapping".

    Of course, if the patent actually is about the coupling of a common workflow layer automated with any RDBMS ... well, they'll have to sue Sun over J2EE and subsequent Java EE 5 releases. Except um... J2EE's been around since last century.

    Or SAP AG, as they do workflows. Or Notes, which I think also uses an RDBMS. Or GroupWise. Hell, even Microsoft has a "common workflow layer using RDBMS" under the name of Microsoft CRM (or whatever its called now) with their offerings!

    This would mark a first, I actually hope that Facebook wins this stupid patent troll lawsuit!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By George there's not even software involved this time!

    The problem is patently obvious but surely there must be some point of no return when the US patent office gets fed up with being the laughing stock of the world and decides to sort itself out, or are they all on huge retainers from law firms?

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