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Software Installation/Update via Internet Patented 519

Posted by timothy
from the 35-claims dept.
RKBA writes "My wife just handed me an article from the Wednesday, October 22, 2003 issue of the Wall Street Journal about a tiny Austin, TX company called Bluecurrent that has been awarded patent No. 6,636,857 covering the Internet installation of any software or settings on new computers. The patent was granted by the USPTO on October 21, 2003. It will be interesting to see if it can be enforced. I think it's time for someone to file a patent on Earth, Fire, and Water. ;-)"
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Software Installation/Update via Internet Patented

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:39PM (#7373994)
    It's official. There is no God, the madness will never end. Kill me now.
  • It Gets Worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by John_McKee (100458) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:39PM (#7373996) Homepage
    According to the WSJ article, They have already found a law firm willing to pursue the claim for a contingency fee.

    "Mr. Thomas said Bluecurrent intends to seek royalties of $10 to $25 for each time a new computer has software or other settings updated over the Web."
    • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BenFranske (646563) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:44PM (#7374049) Homepage
      Sounds like trouble for users of Micro$oft's Windows Update. Or for the *NIX users of apt-get and similar utilities. Of course, coming up with prior art should be no problem and the rich Micro$oft will fight this for you.
      • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:4, Insightful)

        by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @10:28PM (#7374994) Homepage
        Sounds like trouble for users of Micro$oft's Windows Update. Or for the *NIX users of apt-get and similar utilities.

        Uhm...how so? Neither Windows Update nor apt-get do anything remotely (no pun intended) like what is covered by this patent.

        Go read the claims of the patent.

      • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:3, Informative)

        by Twylite (234238)

        Provisional patent Dec 2001. Filed Dec 2002. Granted Oct 2003. I don't think there should be a problem finding prior art.

      • Maybe not... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ClubStew (113954) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:35AM (#7377598)

        I'm not so sure this is a problem. The patent mentions that data has to be encrypted when transmitted (presumably with SSL) and that the data has to be stored in a relational database.

        MS primarily keeps data in config files (.inf, etc.). The old Windows update just used data out of these files with the ActiveSetup control to update components. I actually haven't checked into the "new" one (the one that was released with XP).

        Of course, if they broaden the scope of "relational database" to start covering filesystems and loosely-related sectioned files like INF files, then, yes, I suppose they're screwed...

        ...except prior art exists. Then again, when has that stopped the USPTO from being utter morons with a bad business model?

    • by CrowScape (659629) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:47PM (#7374078)
      If they can enforce it they'll make a mint from all those spam/pr0n sites that try to change your homepage settings when you accidentally visit them.
    • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:2, Interesting)

      by perotbot (632237)
      So GATOR and all the other drive by downloaders can be charged for their robo spamming? COOL!

      this will definitely screw up their balance sheets, but
      it will be the only reason to rejoice at this
    • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:28PM (#7374409) Homepage
      Wouldn't DHCP be "updating settings over the network"???
      • Re:It Gets Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bahamat (187909) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:58PM (#7374860) Homepage
        Actually, the pattent specifically and repeatedly says "World Wide Web". Contrary to popular belief, the WWW is NOT the Internet. The WWW is a subset of the Internet. DHCP would not apply, since it's not part of the WWW. FTP would not apply. NNTP, SCP, UUCP, RCP, SMTP, or any protocol other than HTTP would be outside the scope of this patent.

        Also, this patent is only for transferring one's files/settings from one computer to a new computer. Before you all go moaning and groaning, RTFP. This thing is written very specifically. So specifically, I don't see how it could possibly affect any other service currently in place that I am aware of. Of course, IANAL, but it seems to me that this was intended to be so specific to only cover precicely and exactly the service Bluecurrent offers, or whoever wrote it is moronic enough to think that the "World Wide Web" is all there is to the Internet. Either way, I don't think this will ever affect my life again.
  • Wind? (Score:5, Funny)

    by toeofdestiny (519453) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:39PM (#7374002)
    I think it's time for someone to file a patent on Earth, Fire, and Water. ;-)

    Wind is already patented?
    • Re:Wind? (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172)
      They were just afraid to violate the IP on "Earth, Wind & Fire."

      KFG
    • Of course, Microsoft Windblows :)
  • Oh no! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:40PM (#7374007) Homepage
    I think it's time for someone to file a patent on Earth, Fire, and Water.
    ...Just keep them away from Earth, Wind, and Fire--that's all I ask!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    multiple computers connected by digital communications?
  • RTFA! (Score:5, Informative)

    by bigHairyDog (686475) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:41PM (#7374016)

    NO! This is *not* a patent "covering the Internet installation of any software or settings on new computers".

    This is a patent covering backing up preferences on a remote server so that someone can safely upgrade their OS or move computers.

    To recap:

    1. We are not all going to die
    2. It's all going to be OK
    3. Profit!

    I wish /.ers would check their facts before screaming how the sky is going to fall on our heads every time the USPTO grants a patent.


    • He's right.

      That said, who can blame anyone for assuming the worst-case here?
    • .Mac allows me to backup much of my data and utilize that data on other computers. I wonder if these people will go after Apple.
      • Depends on how Apple does it. Note claim 5:
        5. The method of claim 3 or claim 4 wherein said method of accessing said World Wide Web incorporates secure, encrypted transmission.

        If your transmission is unencrypted, it falls outside the scope of this patent.

        Also, they keep referring to the "World Wide Web". I assume this means accessing a local server via port 514 (shell) instead of 80 (http) would fall outside the scope, too, but am not sure.
    • Re:RTFA! (Score:5, Funny)

      by kfg (145172) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:47PM (#7374076)
      Ah yes, patenting ftp and email to store your own files is sooooooooo much better.

      KFG
    • Does this mean that I can no longer tar up /home/USER_NAME and copy it to a backup server unless I pay them money?

      The USPTO is getting more and more fucked up each and every day.
      • Re:RTFA! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Josh Booth (588074) <joshbooth2000&yahoo,com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:52PM (#7374130)
        Of course not, you just have to do a quick "rm -rf ~/.*" before you send your home directory to the backup computer. Just remember to "mv ~/.porn ~/porn" before you do that.
    • Re:RTFA! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ergo98 (9391)
      This was filed December of 2002: I think Microsoft "roaming profiles" (of course their patent claims that the unique aspect is "access the world wide web", which is a clause that should immediately send any patent application to the garbage bin), or even ICQ (which stores settings and contact lists on their server) had them beat quite handily.

      This is yet another bullshit patent that claims uniqueness (in this case to the rather bland "backup data" process) by adding "World Wide Web". I repeat: Any patent t
    • by jhujoe (579368) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:52PM (#7374129)
      Abstract The method and system of the present invention provides an improved technique for replacing, implementing and managing computer-related assets. A technician accesses the World Wide Web through a user's computer. The information resident on the computer, including information regarding the computer and the user's preferences, are downloaded to a remote storage medium through the World Wide Web. Once downloaded, all information may be removed from the user's computer. Subsequently, the technician accesses another computer such as, for example, a new computer that has been assigned to the same user. The technician accesses the World Wide Web through the new computer and downloads the information previously stored on the remote storage medium. This information can then be used to install the user's prior applications, settings and preferences on the new computer.
      As the parent noted, as would anybody who actually took the time to read the patent abstract (which apparently does NOT the original poster), this patent is for using the web as a place to migrate settings and data from one computer to another.

      Now, in my opinion, the actual patent is also ridiculous and way too broad in scope, but not nearly as bad as the picture painted by /.

      • As long as you're not sending the data over port 80 using HTTP, you're not going to be violating the patent!

        I don't think this company is going to to take the time to file the other 2^32-1 patents they are going to need to cover the rest of the 'net.
      • As the parent noted, as would anybody who actually took the time to read the patent abstract (which apparently does NOT the original poster), this patent is for using the web as a place to migrate settings and data from one computer to another.

        Anybody who reads an abstract and draws conclusions about the scope of the document deserves everything they get. Someone with a clue [gpo.gov] would know that the abstract, by regulation "will not be used for interpreting the scope of the claims."

        Please, don't give us this
    • by js7a (579872) *
      This is a patent covering backing up preferences on a remote server so that someone can safely upgrade their OS or move computers.

      Right, but, as the special case of using a web browser.

      If bookmark files count as preferences, then there's plenty of prior art. People have been uploading bookmarks to servers using INPUT TYPE=FILE since before '98.

    • Sounds like windows roaming profiles.
    • Re:RTFA! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LoadStar (532607) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:03PM (#7374203)
      NO! This is *not* a patent "covering the Internet installation of any software or settings on new computers".
      This is a patent covering backing up preferences on a remote server so that someone can safely upgrade their OS or move computers.

      Agreed. Reading the patent, one sees that they describe a web-based process where one can access a web page, back up files comprising a user's environment, go to a new workstation, and restore said files.

      What they describe is essentially a web-based version of Microsoft's FAST (File And Settings Transfer) Wizard [microsoft.com] from Windows XP.

    • While it does sound a bit like Windows Roaming Profiles, it sounds a lot more like USMT - User Settings Migration Tool - a utility included with Windows XP for migrating user settings from one machine to another.

      The bigger question is: does "using the world wide web" mean using TCP ports 80 & 443, or does it mean the more broad using TCP/IP connectivity between computers/servers.

    • The guys bbehind nautilus have prior art on this. As do many other companies.

    • ACAP is prior art
    • by Ridge (37884)
      Funeral homes to recap:

      1. We're all going to die
      2. Put remains in box, it'll all be OK
      3. Profit!
    • Re:RTFA! (Score:5, Funny)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... inus threevowels> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:39PM (#7374768) Homepage
      I wish /.ers would check their facts before screaming how the sky is going to fall on our heads every time the USPTO grants a patent.

      It's a catch-22--if they did that, then they wouldn't be /.ers.
    • No! RTFC! (Score:3, Informative)

      by werdna (39029)
      The abstract neither broadens nor limits the scope of claims of a patent. By regulation, it "will not be used for interpreting the scope of the claims." [gpo.gov]

      The claim is the thing, and must be read carefully in view of the specification and prosecution history.
  • Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Empiric (675968) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:42PM (#7374021) Homepage
    Mainframes.

    (And please don't tell me this applies "originally" to the World Wide Web... if that matters I'm applying for a patent to do the exact same thing "for IP block 90.x.x.x".)
  • by Evil Adrian (253301) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:42PM (#7374023) Homepage
    ...but here's a link [out-law.com] to a relevant article.

    I hope someone counter-sues them into the dust!
  • GO USA! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Aren't American Citizens ASHAMED of the US Patent Office? I know I would be.

    Then people think about the USA = stupid stereotype and wonder where it comes from. It's not just GWB.
  • by rf0 (159958)
    Well I will just patent breathing and sue everyone. Now I'm sorry that there has to be prior art to this. Surely even Windows Update covers this. Prehaps MS should just bring up a test case as they have deep enough pockets. Then again they will probably just buy the patent for stupid amounts then tax everyone else

    Rus
    • Surely even Windows Update covers this.

      Read the patent. Windows Update is outside the art described here.

      What should be counted as prior art are services like X-Drive and .Mac that allow you to move data to a remote location and store it during an upgrade.
  • by dolo666 (195584) *
    I find it especially funny that this amazing company can't be accessed from my computer due to their use of Shockwave Flash, which I removed because it is being systematically abused by large websites for popup ads.

    I'm guessing their current plans are equally as amazing!
  • It looks like this is a bit more specific than the original post would lead one to believe. It does not cover installing software remotely. This patent is more about saving a user's settings remotely, then transferring them to a new computer. Looks like it is a way to facilitate the use of a remote IT staff. It does not look like it covers downloading software install packs, nor does it seem to cover software updates. But hey, IANAL :)

    • This is getting ridiculous. Articles are being more frequently posted that are seriously inaccurate, or based on pure conjecture a la recent furore over Apple not updating their older OS's. Can we see some more intelligent editor intervention in assertaining the actual facts before the article gets posted.
    • So CMU is supposed to pay 25$*client for every ACAP [cmu.edu] client? Oh, that's not the same thing... how 'bout putting a shameless cache to app config in the acap client and get in the lawyers' crosshairs?
    • Yes, but on the other hand, that is still an old feature. For example, if you are logging in to a Windows NT domain from a Windows 95 machine, it will save your user settings on the server. If you log in from a new machine, they get transfered to the new machine and stored in its local profile settings. It was annoying because if you logged in with the machine unplugged as your FIRST login, it uses default settings. Then you plug it in later and it says "Oh, newer settings! Update!" The other annoyanc
  • But most of the software's that install over internet only download the installer over the internet.

    After that the installer run's locally, i.e. the installer executable is running on the consumer's PC not on the webserver.

    So unless the patent cover's downloading over internet, which in turn would mean patenting the HTTP or FTP or any kind of File transfering protocol, I don't see how can they apply this patent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:45PM (#7374059)
    Any of you readers who live in europe should be writing letters or whatever else is necessary to get your local media in some way to report this and other stories like this.

    You need for the Great Washed, the computer-uninformed persons of europe, to become aware that if software patents go forward in Europe, this is the sort of thing you have to look forward to.

    They need to understand that software patents will not help the innovators. They will simply mean that by some kind of strange lottery system, the first person to successfully get through a bs application describing something that is already an obvious, common practice will suddenly "own" that practice.

    They need to understand that software patents help nobody who actually makes a profit, and will only help vultures like this Austin company who have never made a product anyone noticed; at the one end, it causes the small companies to do a strange dance around concepts that they thought of but turned out to already be patented; at the other end, it causes the large companies to obsessively spend time, money, and effort tossing all their obvious ideas they can think of at the patent system in hopes that enough of them will be granted they can generate a strong "patent shield".

    -- Super Ugly Ultraman
  • What about mozilla .xpi installs?
    Or windowsupdate?

    Or plugins?
    • Re:Mozilla (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BurKaZoiD (611246)
      What about mozilla .xpi installs? Or windowsupdate? Or plugins?

      For that matter what about large Active Directory structures that span large areas, even crossing state or country borders, and that utilize SMS for any type of maintenance? Obviously, within a local network it's a no brainer, but I have SysAdmin friends that do manage large networks that are spread all over the world.

      And no, I didn't RTFA.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:48PM (#7374093) Journal
    BookmarkSync, which has recently gone open source [sourceforge.net]. This does exactly what they're talking about in the patent, the preferences here being bookmarks, of course, and this was being done well before the 2001 application date of the patent.
  • Obvious? (Score:5, Funny)

    by redgopher (650527) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:52PM (#7374126) Homepage
    I think it's time for someone to file a patent on Earth, Fire, and Water


    With your powers combined, I am Captain Patent!!

  • by LauraW (662560) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:55PM (#7374143)
    As someone else pointed out, this patent isn't about software updates; it's about preferences and other user settings. You have to read the patent's "Claims" section to know what it covers. They're the only part that really matters.

    The scary part of this patent isn't the user settings stuff, it's this claim:

    25. A method for asset management using the World Wide Web, comprising:
    • accessing the World Wide Web through a series of computer-related hardware devices connected to a network;
    • transferring information regarding each computer-related hardware device in said series of computer-related hardware devices to a remote storage medium;
    • compiling information related to said series of computer-related hardware devices derived from said information residing on said remote storage medium; and
    • preparing and disseminating reports compiled from said information.
    This seems to cover cases where every computer on a network (say in a corporate IT environment) uploads a bit of information about itself to a server, and then someone prepares a report based on that information. But there must be prior art on this one. And it would be pretty easy to get around this claim anyway -- just poll the machines for information rather than having them upload it to a central server.
    • Wasn't LDAP just about a directory service for just about anything you can think of? Anyone wishing to use LDAP to do HW accounting can get an unique id in the LDAP namespace and write an LDAP compliant schema to mirror PCI, mobo serial num, ATA ids (hw serial codes hardwired in the peripherials) and write boot scripts in new hardware wizards to upload them to an LDAP master. The only challenge in such a thing is getting to know the OS platform and write sw to fetch the data from the registry or /proc... he
    • My own web site is prior art to claim 25 of this patent. Here's how access to a web site running on Apache HTTP Server [pineight.com] goes:

      25. A method for asset management using the World Wide Web, comprising: accessing the World Wide Web through a series of computer-related hardware devices connected to a network;

      People visit the web site, looking for a recently released open-source NES game [pineight.com].

      transferring information regarding each computer-related hardware device in said series of computer-related hardware dev

  • You forgot "Air" on that list. Well, unless someone has already patented it. :)

    http://www.paganlibrary.com/rituals_spells/invocat ion_elements.php [paganlibrary.com]

    North = Earth
    East = Air
    South = Fire
    West = Water

  • by slyfox (100931) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:01PM (#7374182)
    This patent specifically covers using the World Wide Web to update a computer; it does not cover all possible ways to update software via the Internet (the web is just the subset of the internet that uses HTTP and HTML). Thus, if you perform automatic updates without using HTTP or HTML (say, XML and SCP), this patent does not affect you. In essence, this patent is easy to work around, so it should have much of a long-term effect on the world as we know it.

    I suspect the only reason this patent was issued was due to this specific nature of the claims; however, in the short-run this pattent still might cause some big headaches if the lawyers get really over eager (which always seems to happen...)
  • by HardCase (14757) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:02PM (#7374191)
    After reading the patent, the claims that are made don't appear to support updating or installing software over the Internet. They do seem to support maintaining a database of system settings that can be updated at a given workstation by a technician, then accessed by the same, or different technician, in order to account for existing user settings and to maintain a list of installed hardware and software so that when a software installation is performed, the technician can rely on this database to make sure that the software is installed to the user's satisfaction. It really seems to me that all that is really claimed is a way to utilize a remote database to maintain records of a particular computer's software and hardware configuration. The things that we write down on paper are now contained in a database. The critical part of the patent appears to be that the database is relational, maintained at a different location from the computer under examination and is accessed via the Internet.


    There aren't any claims about installing software or software updates. Perhaps a case could be made that an online software installation/update system that copies a computer's configuration from the computer to a remote system via the Internet could be infringing, but as far as I can tell software installers/updaters simply send an installer program that examines what's on the computer, then requests the appropriate files from the remote server. And it seems to me that that's how it should be done, anyway.


    Nonetheless, this still does not seem like anything particularly novel. The idea of maintaining a database of settings is certainly nothing new. Making that database accessible over the Internet doesn't seem like a particularly significant improvement. In fact, what is (critically) missing is automation. The claims that are made in the patent specifically call for the intervention of a technician in the process, to interpret the settings reported from the remote database. Regardless of the novelty of the idea, it doesn't seem to be as broadly applicable as the title of the /. summary makes it appear. I'm sure that the company can try to sue to enforce the patent against others delivering software updates over the Internet, but the claims that the patent makes (at least the novel claims) are so narrow that I don't think that they will enjoy too much success.


    And it seems that if anybody wants to look at an existing system that might infringe, Red Hat's RHN system may be just the thing. But I think that it's been around since well before 2002.


    -h-

    • Like Windows Profiles? That would seem to an obvious prior art claim. You might be able to claim XTerm settings are transferable from client to client and stored on a central server. This just to freakin obvious.

      I am going to file the "Get a Clue" Patent, and then license back to the USPTO for fortune because it then need it badly.

  • Does this mean I have to pay $10 to $25 when I use apt. I mean it seems pretty clear to me that apt goes through the method of the patent. I think the USPTO has gone to far.
  • Roaming profiles seem to be prior art for this one !. Also what about likes of NortonsGhost or Veritas and the myriad of backup systems that save user data to network for bare-metal recoveries. Puting magic words of world wide web just means using http to transfer files: nothing new and done many time before. Bluecurrent probaly can't believe their luck in getting this patent. User settings saved on a network so that you can re-use these when you re-install on another machine (asset) ! Shit, I would neve
  • Traveling Software/Laplink's PC Sync [laplink.com], which was out quite some time ago, is prior art.
  • by man_ls (248470)
    I'm writing letters to my U.S. Senators about this issue...if it raises a few eyebrows, mission accomplished.

    Yes, I said writing and letters. I am going to mail dead trees to them.
  • Sorry for the offtopic discussion

    But who else is noticing the new ads on the front page ?

    http://opencurve.org/~sunny/images/slashdot.png [opencurve.org]

    Sunny Dubey

  • ...in the US, we bomb foreign countries for less invsive violations of human rights, such as free speech. Imagine these folks suign the Debian project, for example. I'm more worried day-to-day about the more suttle, under-the-table terrorism enacted against our industry and trade by those willing to exert power through the legal and patent system. The problem here is that enforcing a patent can trace its authority to the end of the barrel of a law-enforcement officer's handgun, or the weapons of economic
  • Prior Art? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Feezle (605987) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:14PM (#7374303)
    WebMachines "iaNetwork" used to support remote storage and management of user preferences, so you could log into any machine managed by iaNetwork and see your data the way you liked. It handled remote updates, individual user preferences, devive settings, etc. See this link, courtesy of the WayBack Machine for a look at the (sadly, defunct) WebMachines iaNetwork [archive.org]. The iaNetwork "Identity Server" and iaNetwork "Device Server" seem most relevant to the patent in question.
  • to file a patent on Earth, Fire, and Water.
    Yeah, that's right, you can't patent Air, because I've already patented it along with breathing so you people better start coughing up that money now!
  • Windows Roaming Profiles have been mentioned, but starting with Windows XP MS offered the "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard." I think third parties have also previously provided software like this as well which allows program settings and files to be saved to a disk or transferred over the network to the new computer.
  • I am surprised their lawyers aren't busy formulating a defensive suit right now. Lets face it they have been storing your buddy list information, your favorites and emails as backed up files on their servers since aol 3.0 (that I know of please don't flame for earlier versions)
  • by femto (459605)
    Aren't there and awful lot of similar things out there using LDAP to store settings and statistics? Also doesn't IMAP include some way of storing settings and other such 'meta' information?

    Presumambly LDAP is included as part of the 'world wide web' (including http, ftp, ...) as distinct from the 'http web', so they cannot even claim the dubious novelty of just sustituting LDAP with HTTP?

  • I'm sure that Earth, Wind and Fire may have some issues with being 2/3rds patented by someone else.

  • by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:35PM (#7374444) Journal

    Yes. The patent system is screwed up. But do we really need to have a story every day about every new piece of evidence that the patent system is screwed up?

    When this company starts actually enforcing its patent, then maybe it'll justify a story. Probably not though. I'd wait until they actually win a case. Which will be never.

    • by twitter (104583) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @08:44PM (#7374493) Homepage Journal
      But do we really need to have a story every day about every new piece of evidence that the patent system is screwed up?

      If you don't care about internet software updating and maintaning that has a database, you don't care about this. That would mean you don't have a system like apt, up2date, ports or any other software version atomation on any of your computers. If that's the case, Slashdot does not have much to offer you and you should point your licensed copy of IE someplace else. If you care about free software, stupid software patents bother you because that's how propriatory software makers intend to kill their competition.

  • Forgive me if I am mistaken - but this process is the HTTP protocal!! Pages are stored on your PC (OK in a tempory directory but still, they are "installed") and "run" in your browser. Oh !@#$%^&
  • This is good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:44PM (#7374788)
    Maybe this crazy patent will wake some peopel up? This patent is a joke and there are litterally thousands of applications that use this method. Adobe Acrobat checks for new versions, Windows update, Red Hat up2date, apt-get, Norton, Symantec, ZoneAlarm, etc. You name it, most software has some online update feature. Finding prior art in this case will be very easy. However, I bet this company will go after the "small fish" companies who cannot afford to fight the court battle and just pay the license fees. You gotta love the current implementation of Capitalism in the USA!
  • by crucini (98210) on Monday November 03, 2003 @01:25AM (#7375652)
    Once again, slashdot posts an utterly wrong synopsis of a patent.
    ...covering the Internet installation of any software or settings on new computers.

    Wrong. Since very few slashdot readers can be bothered to actually read the patent before complaining about it, it covers this process:
    1. Upload user settings from an old computer to a server.
    2. Download those settings to a new computer.

    This little game of outright lying about the content of a patent and then joining in a chorus of ignorant bleating about the awful, awful patent system accomplishes nothing. I hope that no legislator or decision-maker ever reads this drivel, as he'll be convinced that patent reform is championed only by cretins.
  • by gamlidek (459505) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:33AM (#7377581)
    Whoever decided to let this go through as a valid ./ article is a moron and didn't read the link in the posting. The article is about a backup/restore procedure using the internet to access the storage medium. This has nothing to do with updates.

    I wasted 5 minutes on this because I deal with this kind of tech at my company... geez.. ;)

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