Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Android Communications Microsoft

Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-claims-ownership-of-using-words-in-a-sentence dept.
An anonymous reader points out a report at Groklaw about another new lawsuit from patent firm Intellectual Ventures against Motorola Mobility (they have an earlier patent suit against Motorola underway already). The suit seeks damages from alleged infringement of seven patents, most of which involve wireless communications and Motorola's use of Android. One of the patents, US5790793, is "A method and system for sending and receiving Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) in electronic mail over the Internet." Intellectual Ventures' complaint (PDF) says Motorola product that implement MMS violate this patent. PJ at Groklaw thinks this is another patent attack on Android: "And guess where IV got these patents? Not directly from the USPTO. I'll give you a big hint. Some of them, from what I'm seeing, are from working companies. Don't they call that privateering, when active companies outsource their patents to trolls to do their dirty work? Why yes. Yes, they do. Can you guess one company in this picture? Someone helping Microsoft in its anti-competitive attack on Android and Linux, you say? Yes, one of the companies that seems to have transferred two patents to IV for its holy quest is Nokia, Microsoft's 'partner in crime', as I like to think of them. I know. You are shocked, shocked to know that patents are being used anti-competitively in a court of law."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

Comments Filter:
  • 1995, damnit. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:29PM (#44072423) Homepage

    I was doing this in 1995. I think it's safe to say there's prior art. And it's mine. I'm such an artiste!

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:33PM (#44072445)
    Does that mean we can sic the patent trolls on the spammers? Hold on, lemme get some popcorn!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:52PM (#44072619)

    Those involved in fighting the patent are looking to invalidate via prior art. One claim of special interest is the auto-fetch of data as stated in one of the claims. The amusing thing is that such a capability raises security concerns, so even older software would likely not do such thing, making it difficult to find prior art that performed such a function.

    Due to the dates in question, you are also dealing with the following obstacles: software in environments (e.g unix) that today's people do not understand (e.g command-line/batch), software that is no longer in use, developers of old software that still exist and can be found, and/or a verifiable paper/digital trail to establish dates when specific functionality was available.

    BTW, the patent claims is not specific to URLs, but anything that specifies the location of some resource. Hence, older, non-URL-based methods that were implemented can be used to establish prior art.

    P.S. Posting as AC since I may have some involvement with the case.

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday June 21, 2013 @02:01PM (#44072697)

    It seems that slashdotters think that the title of a patent IS the patent. For any patent title "A method for doing X," it does not mean that any method for doing X is covered by the patent. The patent describes the specific method of doing X. Now, sometimes the specific method is still totally obvious, not novel, and/or has plenty of prior art. But just because the title says "Method and system to create, transmit, receive and process information, including an address to further information" does not mean or imply that it covers every method for doing so.

    Now that said, based on the abstract this is still likely a bullshit patent, I'm just sayin' don't assume so based only on the title because there are plenty of legit, novel patents that are titled in this manner. Of course, this is still just based on the abstract, I'm not gonna read the whole patent.

    Abstract
    A method and system for sending and receiving Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) in electronic mail over the Internet. An electronic mail document containing a URL may have several different types. If the message type indicates a URL, when the received URL type document is read or browsed using a multimedia Internet browser, the URL is looked up so that the information corresponding to the URL is displayed without necessarily displaying any portion of the received message. If the received document is of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) type, the document may be displayed and a user may "click" on the URL to look up the information corresponding to the URL. If the received document is of the text type, the text may be converted to the HTML format and the HTML format document displayed so that a user may "click" on the URL in order to look up the information corresponding to the URL without the need to type in the URL address.

  • by sribe (304414) on Friday June 21, 2013 @02:18PM (#44072851)

    It seems that slashdotters think that the title of a patent IS the patent. For any patent title "A method for doing X," it does not mean that any method for doing X is covered by the patent. The patent describes the specific method of doing X. Now, sometimes the specific method is still totally obvious, not novel, and/or has plenty of prior art. But just because the title says "Method and system to create, transmit, receive and process information, including an address to further information" does not mean or imply that it covers every method for doing so.

    The problem is not so much that the non-experts here assume that the patent covers all methods for doing X; the problem is that the patent trolls and their attorneys will pretend that the patent does so, threaten small companies using any other method of doing X, and ultimately, perhaps, try to confuse a jury between the patented method and some other method by focusing on the result rather than the method.

    So, although the patent does not actually cover all methods of doing X, it is actually reasonable to assume that is exactly what the trolls are claiming.

  • Claim 1 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday June 21, 2013 @02:46PM (#44073081)

    This is the actual material being contested:

    1. A method of communicating between computers, comprising the steps of:
    creating a message at a first computer, said message including a reference to a predetermined location;
    transmitting, by the first computer, said message to a second location; and
    receiving said message by a computer at the second location;
    decoding said message by the computer at the second location by retrieving data from the predetermined location, automatically by a single application, without requiring user interaction, into the computer at the second location.

    So actually this looks like a dandy malware vector. Send an email with a link; the receiver then downloads the content from the link without human intervention.

    I'd be upset if my email client was doing this.

  • "... large scale larceny..."

    That larceny is being done by Bill Gates, along with his partner, Nathan Myhrvold. Bill Gates owns stock in Intellectual Ventures. [intellectualventures.com] He is a somewhat silent partner.

    Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold wrote a really, really poor book together, The Road Ahead. [wikipedia.org] People bought the book thinking it would have useful information. But it seems as though several editors must have examined the book very carefully to make sure it had nothing of value. In my opinion, it was fraud, a way of stealing from people who bought the book because they assumed they would learn something.

    Quote from the Wikipedia page:

    The New York Times review called the book "bland and tepid" and reading "as if it had been vetted by a committee of Microsoft executives"; it is "little more than a positioning document, sold in book form with accompanying CD-ROM and designed mainly to advance the interests of the Microsoft Corporation."

    It appears to me that Bill Gates is using "philanthropy" to find ways to make more money. He discovers difficulties people have, asks for ideas for technology to fix those difficulties, and then turns those ideas into money-making projects for Intellectual Ventures.

    To read more about how they use business to do what many regard as evil, read the August 21, 2012 article, Inside Intellectual Ventures, the most hated company in tech. [cnet.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @05:12PM (#44074451)

    Except they get free food and board for life, in what sick world is that justice? Have them check in with a parole officer every morning, for their daily punch to the dick - then off to highway cleanup duty. Win-win-justice.

    As someone who has done a bit of time in a high-security prison, you have to understand that even the food is a form of punishment. And to call it "board" is a way to describe the mattress in a very literal manner. Mix in the violence, the politics and the standovers, and life is a pretty nasty thing. As punishment, it's much worse than a death sentence. The latter is to protect society, the former is punitive.

    Although parole is pretty hard (I have years of it ahead of me) I haven't had to avoid any major fights, nor do I have to be constantly aware of what's going on around me (there's a distinct lack of people being stabbed in the kidneys because they owe a pouch of tobacco on the outside).

    And there is very little relation between justice and the law.

You're already carrying the sphere!

Working...