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WordLogic Patented the Predictive Interface 173

Packetl055 writes "Have any of you heard anything about this company, WordLogic, with a soon to be granted/issued patent with 117 claims for predictability software? They recently received a patent approval/allowance letter from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Their patent application was submitted in March 2000. If I read this correctly, any software that gives you any prediction after you type something is infringing on their patent — e.g. vehicle navigation systems, cellular telephones, PDA's, Google with their 'Did You Mean' when using Google for a search, the new Apple I-Phone, Blackberry, Sony Playstation-3, etc., etc. If true, this is going to be huge: lawsuits after lawsuits." Their stock trend over the last few days suggests that somebody was paying attention to the the USPTO news from August 9. WordLogic makes products (assistive input software) and doesn't seem to be merely a patent troll.
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WordLogic Patented the Predictive Interface

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  • by Sciros ( 986030 ) on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:33PM (#20346669) Journal
    Patents this broad on software just shouldn't ever be granted, period. Effectively this patents inference, which is ridiculous. I'm also fairly certain that tech existed prior to 2000 which was capable of predictive i/o. Browser histories, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:42PM (#20346759)
    You are concluding what a patent covers without even seeing the claims, based upon a corporate press release.

    Par for the course....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:46PM (#20346793)
    Why is it that prior art must be exactly what the patent is claiming, but infringing work just needs to be similar to what is claimed?
  • bad links (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravesb ( 967413 ) on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:47PM (#20346801) Homepage
    Editors, for these stories, please include a link to the patent, not just the news release and a general description.
  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) * <> on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:53PM (#20346851)
    Pretty sure I've seen predictive input for a LONG time... some examples..

    Cell phone input (T9 & iTap circa 1995)
    PDA writing interfaces (Newton?)
    Shell command line completion. (bash, ksh)
    Visual Studio 6...
    Windows 3.1 tablet edition
    Automatic spell checking correction ( MS word 95, possibly before)

    I'm sure there's tons more here... but wiring a dictionary up to an input is obvious prior art, no matter how you spin it.
  • by TW Atwater ( 1145245 ) on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:55PM (#20346873)
    ... if anyone has a patent on wheels? I see thousands of them everyday, and if no one has the patent I could get rich.
  • by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Friday August 24, 2007 @02:57PM (#20346903)
    Exactly. Patents for "predictive text" shouldn't be allowed, but I have no problem with patenting a particular method for predictive text, like T9. I mean, have as many patents as people want that cover a specific method, but not for EVERY method in existence. It's like allowing me to patent the automobile. I shouldn't be able to patent the whole thing, just be able to patent part of it, like a steering system. I don't see how these patent examiners can't make that relation to non-software items.
  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday August 24, 2007 @03:15PM (#20347077) Homepage Journal
    Because most patent infringement cases are decided by juries. Prior art claims need to be ruled on by a judge, but 12 people, too stupid to get out of jury duty, get to decide if the infringing work actually infringes on the claims.

    Don't you just love our court system here in the U.S.? :D
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @03:41PM (#20347361)
    "Patent submitters typically know about the most obvious examples of prior art, so most patents are worded to carefully carve out a niche in which the patent almost, but not quite, describes existing technologies."

    And then they will sue, or threaten to sue, or offer to "license" the technology with as BROAD an interpretation as possible ;-)

  • Well, let's see. The story is about a new software patent that appears to place a lot of currently ubiquitous software/devices in violation. The GP's post is about FDR. And it asserts the rather flimsy premise that the New Deal prolonged the Depression. Since FDR and the depression have nothing to do with WorldLogic or their patent, it's hard to imagine why the poster brings up either point.

    So I would say that the GP contributes very little of value to the current discussion. On top of that he injects this questionable revisionist history. Now, I'm willing to believe that the New Deal wasn't all roses and lolly-pops. It's possible that the GP has a point. The article he links to is a troll.

    This is from the article:

    Roosevelt's revolution began with his inaugural address, which left no doubt about his intentions to seize the moment and harness it to his purposes. Best remembered for its patently false line that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," it also called for extraordinary emergency governmental powers.

    So considering that his post had little of interest except this non-sequitor reference to FDR, and considering that his reference to FDR is likely to be inflammatory and is based on a silly article written in 1995, I'd say that it's pretty fair to label it a troll.
  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Saturday August 25, 2007 @06:55AM (#20352707)
    but 12 people, too stupid to get out of jury duty,

    I always hate it when people use that expression. Another way of interpreting that statement is, hundreds of people too selfish, greedy or stupid to perform their civic DUTY, often prevents the system from working properly. But then these hundreds will go off complain how broken the system is. Its kind of like throwing lit matches around ones home while pointing out how every day items around the house tends to be flamable. So who is really the stupid one?

    IMO, there are three serious problems with the current legal system. One, most any moron can be a judge. Judges are not even required to be knowledgable or communicate with a subject matter expert for issues on which they rule. Two, too many laws are writen by lawyers which only benefit lawyers; serving only to generate more billable hours. Three, people try hard to break the legal system by avoiding their civic duty, thereby insuring the "dumb ones", by in large, are on juries. So we have idiot judges ruling on topics well outside of their expertise, often for laws which make no sense, running a trial for jurries too stupid to get out of their duty because the people that should be there lied their way out of it.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay