Archive for the ‘Law suits’ Category

Microsoft v. Barnes and Noble: Take The Design-Around Challenge

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

On March 21st, Microsoft Corp., filed patent infringement claims (Microsoft v Barnes and Noble) against Barnes & Noble Inc., seeking to block U.S. imports of the Nook e-reader.   As reported in a recent Business Week article, Microsoft said it filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington and in federal court in Seattle against Barnes & Noble and the Nook’s manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Co. Ltd., after year long licensing talks failed.  The Nook uses Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Microsoft Corp., alleges infringement of the following four US Patents:

US Patent No. 5889522, entitled, “System provided child window controls,” involves API’s or classes for creating tabbed windows.

US Patent No. 5778372, entitled, ”Remote retrieval and display management of electronic document with incorporated images,” recites systems and methods for retrieving images or resources for display in an electronic document.

US Patent No. 6339780, entitled, “Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area,” claims methods and systems for indicating the loading status of a downloading electronic document.

US Patent No. 6957233, entitled, “Method and apparatus for capturing and rendering annotations for non-modifiable electronic content,” involves methods and systems for annotating an electronic document.

US Patent No. 6891551, entitled, “Selection handles in editing electronic documents,” recites methods and systems for selecting text strings.

As reported in the Business Week article, Microsoft has established a patent- licensing program for Android device manufacturers, and at least two manufacturers have signed license agreements, including HTC Corp., which makes phones for both the Android and Windows systems,  Amazon.com Inc., which makes the Kindle, signed a license with Microsoft last year.

For those of you out there that are interested to know if your client may infringe one or more of these patents, or you or your client are considering the options for designing around the patents in issue, I invite you to test your proposed designs using the attached interactive claim map, created with assistance of the ClaimBot® claim mapping software available from Lucid Patent, LLC.  The claim map, which charts the claim limitations of the five patents listed above, recites 54 claim limitations extracted from and representing the cumulative claim limitations of all five patents.  By indicating whether a proposed design includes or does not include some or all of the mapped limitations, the spreadsheet determines, by the process of eliminating claims using the “all elements rule,” whether or not any particular claim is infringed.  While the chart represents the claims of all five patents, it can be used to determine the likelihood of infringement of any single one patent, by working only with the limitations for that particular patent, or for all patents, by working with all the limitations in the map.

Please note that the claim map is not intended to be a substitute for an opinion by a qualified patent attorney, but rather a tool for a rough evaluation of infringement.  In fact, even if the tool indicates possible infringement for any particular design, it is still possible that a closer inspection may reveal that no infringement exists, because the map may not contain each and every limitation of a particular claim.  On the other hand, if the map indicates that infringement is unlikely, and the determination of the missing claim limitation is clear and unequivocal, there is a very good chance that the proposed design does not infringe the patent or patents being analyzed.  Nonetheless, the patent map should not be relied on as a substitute for an opinion by a qualified patent attorney.   

Here is the map:  Microsoft Patents v. Barnes and Nobles – Claim Chart – April 3

BackWeb Technologies Sues IBM and HP on Software Patents For Background Downloads

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The wagon train of software patent lawsuits rolls on.  As recently reported by Gene Quinn in his IP Watchdog blog (www.ipwatchdog.com), this time it’s IBM and HP that are in the cross-hairs, each being accused by BackWeb Technologies, Inc., of Santa Clara, California (and owned by an Israeli parent company) of infringing three US patents – U.S. 5,913,040, U.S. 6,317,789 and U.S. 6,539,429.  These patents cover systems for transmitting digital information in background mode.   To see an interactive claim chart of these patents claim limitations click here:  BackWeb Claim Chart

The chart shows that almost all of the claims, with a couple of interesting exceptions, require monitoring or determining a line or link utilization rate, and transmitting data based on the rate.  In the chart, the limitations in the left hand column are found in the respective claims (represented by the columns) if there is a blue square in the column.  The “relevance” column can be set equal to 1, 2 or 3.  If set to 3, then the chart assumes the target product has the corresponding limitation.  If set to 1, the limitation is not found, and if set to 2, it is indeterminate or possibly found in the target product.

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Interval Licensing, LLC (and Paul Allen) vs. The World

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Most everyone in software circles has heard by now that Paul Allen’s IP company, Interval Licensing, LLC, has sued AOL, INC.; APPLE, INC.; eBAY, INC.; FACEBOOK, INC.; GOOGLE INC.; NETFLIX, INC.; OFFICE DEPOT, INC.; OFFICEMAX INC.; STAPLES, INC.; YAHOO! INC.; AND YOUTUBE, LLC, for infringing the following US Patents:

United States Patent No. 6,263,507 (“the ’507 patent”) for “Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data.” 

United States Patent No. 6,034,652 (“the ’652 patent”) for “Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device.” 

 United States Patent No. 6,788,314 (“the ’314 patent”) is a division of the ’652 patent and claims related subject matter.

United States Patent No. 6,757,682 (“the ’682 patent”) for “Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest.” The abstract for this patent states:

“Disseminating to a participant an indication that an item accessible by the participant via a network is of current interest is disclosed. An indication that the item is of current interest is received in real time. The indication is processed. The participant is informed that the item is of current interest. “

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Oracle vs. Google: The Times They are a-Changin’

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Is hell freezing over in Silicon Valley? Not that long ago it would have been unthinkable for Oracle to sue any company for patent infringement, much less a fellow Silicon Valley technology behemoth. Yet last week they did just that, leveling seven Java-related patents against Google’s Android software development kit. The patents, owned by Oracle America, are: United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520, originally issued to Sun. The complaint alleges that Google has been aware of Sun’s patent portfolio, including the patents at issue, since the middle of this decade, when Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers.

The Oracle patents (copies attached), some of which were filed in the early to mid 1990’s, all appear to cover various aspects the Java programming environment. So much for software technology moving so fast that patenting is a useless exercise.

Google is definitely in the cross-hairs lately: last month Apple leveled patent infringement charges against HTC, the manufacturer of smart phones that run Google’s Android operating system. That suit involved five Apple patents.

Things may be getting a little tense at black-tie events in Silicon Valley.

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