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(Washington Post)   One of the worst patents ever just got upheld in court   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 78
    More: Followup, Federal Circuit, Internet advertising, plain, Chief Judge, wireless networks, dot-com bubble, supreme courts, courts  
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14743 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jun 2013 at 2:32 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-24 01:44:57 PM  
Without knowing anything about this particular case, the author of this article needs to brush up on what is patentable, the law is "whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." It has long been held that methods fall squarely under the "process" category. Amazon's one click patent is a method of purchasing, clearing checks electronically and scanning documents are similarly methods of doing things. Regardless of whether or not these things are actually new, they are patent eligible. This guy seems to think that only physical doodads are patentable. That is false.
 
2013-06-24 01:47:18 PM  
A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content.

Uh oh.
 
2013-06-24 01:50:39 PM  
Heh. I was wondering whether the Ultramercial decision would make it to Fark.

This week's decision is unlikely to be the last word on abstract patents. Another recent decision split the Federal Circuit down the middle,  with some judges voting to uphold the patent and others voting to invalidate it. The 5-5 decision was over patents concerning computerized financial trading.

As patent scholar Mark Lemley put it on Twitter,  "we've got two Federal Circuits on this issue, and it seems to depend on the luck of the draw."


Considering that Judge Lourie wrote the opinion invalidating the Alice Bank patent,  andagreed in this case that Ultramercial's patent was valid, then it sounds more like it's not luck of the draw on judges, but whether your patent claims suck or not.
 
2013-06-24 01:54:03 PM  

Diogenes: A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content.

Uh oh.


Take it with a grain of salt. They've claimed nothing of the sort, just as Amazon never claimed they invented clicking once, contrary to this article. In fact, almost every paragraph of the article has something glaringly wrong with it, whether or not you're pro-patent or anti-patent.
 
2013-06-24 02:19:44 PM  

Theaetetus: Diogenes: A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content.

Uh oh.

Take it with a grain of salt. They've claimed nothing of the sort, just as Amazon never claimed they invented clicking once, contrary to this article. In fact, almost every paragraph of the article has something glaringly wrong with it, whether or not you're pro-patent or anti-patent.


Regardless of the merits of this case, there are many obvious and downright silly patents out there, often with plenty of prior art, that have been granted by the USPTO, and they all take a minimum of $5 million to defend against, regardless of how silly they are.

Something has to give eventually.
 
2013-06-24 02:35:35 PM  
FTA:  If the appeals court responsible for patent law won't rein in frivolous patenting, perhaps the Supreme Court will do the job itself.

It's about time. Patent law, thanks to a combination of lax jurisprudence and obvious financial manipulation, has become a mess.
 
2013-06-24 02:38:07 PM  
The important question here is wouldn't there be prior art on using ads vs charging for content?  Like broadcast Television vs Cable (specifically premium channels like HBO which don't have commercials).  Or newspapers funded solely by ads vs those you have to pay for?  Why would putting it on a computer change the game, or make it patent worthy?
 
2013-06-24 02:39:45 PM  
Can I patent discretely selling user information for billions in profit and put that stupid Facebook out of business?
 
2013-06-24 02:41:09 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Theaetetus: Diogenes: A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content.

Uh oh.

Take it with a grain of salt. They've claimed nothing of the sort, just as Amazon never claimed they invented clicking once, contrary to this article. In fact, almost every paragraph of the article has something glaringly wrong with it, whether or not you're pro-patent or anti-patent.

Regardless of the merits of this case, there are many obvious and downright silly patents out there, often with plenty of prior art, that have been granted by the USPTO, and they all take a minimum of $5 million to defend against, regardless of how silly they are.

Something has to give eventually.


This article has nothing to do with obviousness or prior art. This is about whether the most novel, nonobvious, freaking revolutionary invention in the history of inventions should  still not be patentable, because it's directed to a process and the Supreme Court has said that abstract ideas are not patentable - specifically, what is an "abstract idea" and where is the line for eligible or not eligible?

/and they can take a lot less than $5 million - see reexaminations, for example
//but all that's another thread
 
2013-06-24 02:43:25 PM  

vonmatrices: The important question here is wouldn't there be prior art on using ads vs charging for content?  Like broadcast Television vs Cable (specifically premium channels like HBO which don't have commercials).  Or newspapers funded solely by ads vs those you have to pay for?  Why would putting it on a computer change the game, or make it patent worthy?


This patent claims one particular implementation for using ads for access to content, and there doesn't seem to be any prior art that, alone or in combination with other prior art, teaches every element in the claims. This case was about whether such a patent, apparently nonobvious over all prior art out there,  still shouldn't be granted, because "it's too abstract".
 
2013-06-24 02:44:57 PM  
Sounds like the court of appeals is taking one of its few chances to say "neener neener" to the Supreme Court who will now have to take the time to smack them with the back of their collective hand.
 
2013-06-24 02:45:50 PM  
You know, wouldn't a real journalistic article have the claims or at least the patent number in question?  Jesus farking christ, fark off Washington Post.  Thankfully they did have a link to the court case with the citation in it.

The patent:
http://www.google.com/patents/US7346545">http://www.google.com/paten ts/US7346545

The claim:
A method for distribution of products over the Internet via a facilitator, said method comprising the steps of:

a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;a second step of selecting a sponsor message to be associated with the media product, said sponsor message being selected from a plurality of sponsor messages, said second step including accessing an activity log to verify that the total number of times which the sponsor message has been previously presented is less than the number of transaction cycles contracted by the sponsor of the sponsor message;a third step of providing the media product for sale at an Internet website;a fourth step of restricting general public access to said media product;a fifth step of offering to a consumer access to the media product without charge to the consumer on the precondition that the consumer views the sponsor message;a sixth step of receiving from the consumer a request to view the sponsor message, wherein the consumer submits said request in response to being offered access to the media product;a seventh step of, in response to receiving the request from the consumer, facilitating the display of a sponsor message to the consumer;an eighth step of, if the sponsor message is not an interactive message, allowing said consumer access to said media product after said step of facilitating the display of said sponsor message;a ninth step of, if the sponsor message is an interactive message, presenting at least one query to the consumer and allowing said consumer access to said media product after receiving a response to said at least one query;a tenth step of recording the transaction event to the activity log, said tenth step including updating the total number of times the sponsor message has been presented; andan eleventh step of receiving payment from the sponsor of the sponsor message displayedI'm really not sure what's "abstract" about that...
 
2013-06-24 02:48:22 PM  
Wow..that didn't format properly at all....

A method for distribution of products over the Internet via a facilitator, said method comprising the steps of:

a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;

a second step of selecting a sponsor message to be associated with the media product, said sponsor message being selected from a plurality of sponsor messages, said second step including accessing an activity log to verify that the total number of times which the sponsor message has been previously presented is less than the number of transaction cycles contracted by the sponsor of the sponsor message;

a third step of providing the media product for sale at an Internet website;

a fourth step of restricting general public access to said media product;

a fifth step of offering to a consumer access to the media product without charge to the consumer on the precondition that the consumer views the sponsor message;

a sixth step of receiving from the consumer a request to view the sponsor message, wherein the consumer submits said request in response to being offered access to the media product;

a seventh step of, in response to receiving the request from the consumer, facilitating the display of a sponsor message to the consumer;

an eighth step of, if the sponsor message is not an interactive message, allowing said consumer access to said media product after said step of facilitating the display of said sponsor message;

a ninth step of, if the sponsor message is an interactive message, presenting at least one query to the consumer and allowing said consumer access to said media product after receiving a response to said at least one query;

a tenth step of recording the transaction event to the activity log, said tenth step including updating the total number of times the sponsor message has been presented; and

an eleventh step of receiving payment from the sponsor of the sponsor message displayed.


I'm really not sure what's "abstract" about that...
 
2013-06-24 02:48:42 PM  
From the article alone i almost got bingo.  

I do however expect that this will be the basis for next year's supreme court ass-beating of the Federal Circuit.
 
2013-06-24 02:49:16 PM  
You're all in trouble.

I've patented the idea of doing stuff.
 
2013-06-24 02:51:28 PM  
Furthermore, I'm not sure how YouTube fails step 4 as aside from arguing requiring an internet connection as a "restriction", I don't think there's any real restriction for general public access to YouTube videos.

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.
 
2013-06-24 02:53:04 PM  
The problem is these ideas are not really abstract.  They are tied to machines (computers) and once they are tied to something tangible, they are no longer abstract and become patentable.  You can't patent an algorithm.  You can patent an algorithm that is on a computer readable medium.
 
2013-06-24 02:58:29 PM  
Don't blame the courts, blame congress for not changing the law (and considering the extent to which this affects private companies, you'd think there would be bipartisan support).
 
2013-06-24 02:59:13 PM  
It seems like ubiquity should be a defense against patent infringement.  When one of these submarine patents surfaces, and it turns out half of the web is infringing, that should be a solid indicator that the patented idea was not novel.

Granted, that would mean you could try to invalidate a known patent simply by getting a bunch of people to implement it.  It would mean that companies would have to be more timely in filing infringement suits, like they are with trademarks.  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
 
2013-06-24 02:59:44 PM  

hammer85: Furthermore, I'm not sure how YouTube fails step 4 as aside from arguing requiring an internet connection as a "restriction", I don't think there's any real restriction for general public access to YouTube videos.

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.


Nope, they come up in the subscription too.
 
2013-06-24 03:04:00 PM  
hammer85:

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.

I wish Hulu paid didn't have ads. You have exactly the same experience with Hulu whether you pay or not. The difference between paid or free is what shows are available. There are some network shows, mostly Fox shows but the other big network stuff like NBC and CBS who restrict their shows to only paying customers for whatever reasons.

The worst thing about hulu though, is there are shows you can only watch using Hulu on your PC and can't watch using Roku or Xbox, The Voice being the biggest one that immediately comes to mind.
 
2013-06-24 03:05:37 PM  

hammer85: Wow..that didn't format properly at all....

A method for distribution of products over the Internet via a facilitator, said method comprising the steps of:

a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;

a second step of selecting a sponsor message to be associated with the media product, said sponsor message being selected from a plurality of sponsor messages, said second step including accessing an activity log to verify that the total number of times which the sponsor message has been previously presented is less than the number of transaction cycles contracted by the sponsor of the sponsor message;

a third step of providing the media product for sale at an Internet website;

a fourth step of restricting general public access to said media product;

a fifth step of offering to a consumer access to the media product without charge to the consumer on the precondition that the consumer views the sponsor message;

a sixth step of receiving from the consumer a request to view the sponsor message, wherein the consumer submits said request in response to being offered access to the media product;

a seventh step of, in response to receiving the request from the consumer, facilitating the display of a sponsor message to the consumer;

an eighth step of, if the sponsor message is not an interactive message, allowing said consumer access to said media product after said step of facilitating the display of said sponsor message;

a ninth step of, if the sponsor message is an interactive message, presenting at least one query to the consumer and allowing said consumer access to said media product after receiving a response to said at least one query;

a tenth step of recording the transaction event to the activity log, said tenth step including updating the t ...


Disregarding the computer specific elements, isn't this a lot like how advertising on cable television works? i.e. Network receives copyrighted content, Network then pairs content with targeted sponsor message, provides product for sale through cable subscriptions, restricts access to those who have purchased a cable bundle including network in question, etc. My question is: can I patent this process for cable television as well? Has anyone tried to do this?
 
2013-06-24 03:07:19 PM  

PirateKing: You're all in trouble.

I've patented the idea of doing stuff.


I patented being lazy before you patented doing stuff. Prior art.

/too lazy to really patent being lazy
 
2013-06-24 03:09:25 PM  

lokis_mentor: hammer85: Furthermore, I'm not sure how YouTube fails step 4 as aside from arguing requiring an internet connection as a "restriction", I don't think there's any real restriction for general public access to YouTube videos.

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.

Nope, they come up in the subscription too.


asdrabael: hammer85:

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.

I wish Hulu paid didn't have ads. You have exactly the same experience with Hulu whether you pay or not. The difference between paid or free is what shows are available. There are some network shows, mostly Fox shows but the other big network stuff like NBC and CBS who restrict their shows to only paying customers for whatever reasons.

The worst thing about hulu though, is there are shows you can only watch using Hulu on your PC and can't watch using Roku or Xbox, The Voice being the biggest one that immediately comes to mind.


Well then, I've been corrected.  I've never used Hulu so I wasn't sure.  But ya, without the services being sued having some sort of restriction, and only circumventing that restriction with ads do you even get past step 5, let alone meet steps 6-11
 
2013-06-24 03:15:56 PM  

insano: hammer85: Wow..that didn't format properly at all....

A method for distribution of products over the Internet via a facilitator, said method comprising the steps of:

a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;

a second step of selecting a sponsor message to be associated with the media product, said sponsor message being selected from a plurality of sponsor messages, said second step including accessing an activity log to verify that the total number of times which the sponsor message has been previously presented is less than the number of transaction cycles contracted by the sponsor of the sponsor message;

a third step of providing the media product for sale at an Internet website;

a fourth step of restricting general public access to said media product;

a fifth step of offering to a consumer access to the media product without charge to the consumer on the precondition that the consumer views the sponsor message;

a sixth step of receiving from the consumer a request to view the sponsor message, wherein the consumer submits said request in response to being offered access to the media product;

a seventh step of, in response to receiving the request from the consumer, facilitating the display of a sponsor message to the consumer;

an eighth step of, if the sponsor message is not an interactive message, allowing said consumer access to said media product after said step of facilitating the display of said sponsor message;

a ninth step of, if the sponsor message is an interactive message, presenting at least one query to the consumer and allowing said consumer access to said media product after receiving a response to said at least one query;

a tenth step of recording the transaction event to the activity log, said tenth step including upda ...


Not really?  I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like the cable comparison would be comcast setting up a deal with HBO.  People want to watch game of thrones, but dont want to pay the subscription.  Therefore Comcast or HBO sets up an ad service, and says, alright, you can watch GoT after you watch these ads. Once you watch the ads the user gets to watch the episode.  That gets you up to step 6.  6-11 just appear to be how the ads are interacted with, tracked, and subsequently paid for.
 
2013-06-24 03:20:06 PM  

Diogenes: A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content.

Uh oh.


Left me thinking about all the free newspapers and radio as prior art. Take something done for decades and add "wireless" or "via network" and BAM you have a trollable patent.
 
2013-06-24 03:20:36 PM  

Pochas: The problem is these ideas are not really abstract.  They are tied to machines (computers) and once they are tied to something tangible, they are no longer abstract and become patentable.  You can't patent an algorithm.  You can patent an algorithm that is on a computer readable medium.


They're still abstract, and a programmed computer isn't a new machine; that's the entire point of a general-purpose computer. That the CAFC says a patent consisting of the claim "do something" is tenable, despite repeated slaps from the Supremes, doesn't make it so.
 
2013-06-24 03:20:53 PM  

nmrsnr: Without knowing anything about this particular case, the author of this article needs to brush up on what is patentable, the law is "whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." It has long been held that methods fall squarely under the "process" category. Amazon's one click patent is a method of purchasing, clearing checks electronically and scanning documents are similarly methods of doing things. Regardless of whether or not these things are actually new, they are patent eligible. This guy seems to think that only physical doodads are patentable. That is false.



No they aren't.


If it was patentable, then I would have the patent on farking your mom. And, there would be a lot of infringement on that patent too!
 
2013-06-24 03:24:22 PM  

Teiritzamna: From the article alone i almost got bingo.  

I do however expect that this will be the basis for next year's supreme court ass-beating of the Federal Circuit.


I was amazed that after the Supreme had already told them their shat stunk and that they needed to pull their heads out of their asses, they reissued essentially the same ruling. Next year's biatch slapping will be a thing of beauty to watch.
 
2013-06-24 03:26:33 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: It seems like ubiquity should be a defense against patent infringement.  When one of these submarine patents surfaces, and it turns out half of the web is infringing, that should be a solid indicator that the patented idea was not novel.


Except that if the patent pre-dates half the web infringing, then that's a solid indicator that not only was the patented idea novel, it was non-obvious, because otherwise, someone would have started doing it earlier.
 
2013-06-24 03:31:03 PM  

chrylis: Pochas: The problem is these ideas are not really abstract.  They are tied to machines (computers) and once they are tied to something tangible, they are no longer abstract and become patentable.  You can't patent an algorithm.  You can patent an algorithm that is on a computer readable medium.

They're still abstract...


That's a conclusion... Where's your reasoning? What makes something abstract or non-abstract? How do you define "abstract"? Can you give an example of an abstract claim and a non-abstract claim?
 
2013-06-24 03:42:05 PM  

asdrabael: hammer85:

Hulu however would fail step 4, as the ads only come up in the free mode as far as I'm aware.

I wish Hulu paid didn't have ads. You have exactly the same experience with Hulu whether you pay or not. The difference between paid or free is what shows are available. There are some network shows, mostly Fox shows but the other big network stuff like NBC and CBS who restrict their shows to only paying customers for whatever reasons.

The worst thing about hulu though, is there are shows you can only watch using Hulu on your PC and can't watch using Roku or Xbox, The Voice being the biggest one that immediately comes to mind.


The Simpsons can only be watched on Hulu on your PC... not that I am to disappointed, the simpsons have been circling the drain for the past 5 years
 
2013-06-24 03:44:57 PM  

Theaetetus: chrylis: Pochas: The problem is these ideas are not really abstract.  They are tied to machines (computers) and once they are tied to something tangible, they are no longer abstract and become patentable.  You can't patent an algorithm.  You can patent an algorithm that is on a computer readable medium.

They're still abstract...

That's a conclusion... Where's your reasoning? What makes something abstract or non-abstract? How do you define "abstract"? Can you give an example of an abstract claim and a non-abstract claim?


Abstract is : Condensing a soluble compound/substance into a small ingestible 'pill' for distribution of vitamins or medially relevant treatments to consumers.
Non-abstract is: This is a specific chemical formula, including the molecular structure and process by which to synthesize it for mass production, for the treatment of {insert malady}.

Abstract is: Show people advertisements in lieu of charging them for content.
Non-abstract is: This piece of software allows for browser capable video playback plugins to include stylized prompts for dynamically injecting advertisements like tv commercials into the video streaming process.
 
2013-06-24 03:49:29 PM  

OhioUGrad: Can I patent discretely selling user information for billions in profit and put that stupid Facebook out of business?


Your so-called "stupid Facebook" will never be put out of business by the courts. Morans posting details about their crimes make the jobs of law enforcement and the courts too simple.
 
2013-06-24 03:54:48 PM  

Burn_The_Plows: OhioUGrad: Can I patent discretely selling user information for billions in profit and put that stupid Facebook out of business?

Your so-called "stupid Facebook" will never be put out of business by the courts. Morans posting details about their crimes make the jobs of law enforcement and the courts too simple.


They still have Twitter.
 
2013-06-24 04:29:31 PM  

kasmel: Theaetetus: chrylis: Pochas: The problem is these ideas are not really abstract.  They are tied to machines (computers) and once they are tied to something tangible, they are no longer abstract and become patentable.  You can't patent an algorithm.  You can patent an algorithm that is on a computer readable medium.

They're still abstract...

That's a conclusion... Where's your reasoning? What makes something abstract or non-abstract? How do you define "abstract"? Can you give an example of an abstract claim and a non-abstract claim?

Abstract is : Condensing a soluble compound/substance into a small ingestible 'pill' for distribution of vitamins or medially relevant treatments to consumers.
Non-abstract is: This is a specific chemical formula, including the molecular structure and process by which to synthesize it for mass production, for the treatment of {insert malady}.


Sorry, I thought I might not have been all that clear there and that someone would read it that way, but then I had to rush out for a minute... Should have specified - what's an example of an abstract claim to a process and an example of a non-abstract claim  to a process. I think everyone's in agreement that specific compositions of matter are non-abstract.

For your example, though:
Abstract: Condensing a soluble compound into a small ingestible 'pill' for distribution of treatment to consumers.
Non-abstract? Condensing a soluble compound of a specific chemical formula, including the molecular structure, into a small ingestible 'pill' for distribution of treatment of {insert malady} to consumers?

In other words, can you turn the abstract one into the non-abstract one by simply including a chemical formula?
What about:
Testing for cancer - abstract.
Testing for breast cancer by presence of the BRCA1 gene - non-abstract?

Or, moving out of the life sciences:
Abstract is: Show people advertisements in lieu of charging them for content.
Non-abstract is: This piece of software allows for browser capable video playback plugins to include stylized prompts for dynamically injecting advertisements like tv commercials into the video streaming process.


Rephrasing the latter as a process:
Presenting, via a video playback plugin in a browser, a stylized prompt for displaying an advertisement prior to showing a video...  Non-abstract?

I'd say yes, but I don't know if anyone would agree. I'd agree that merely "showing people advertisements in lieu of charging them for content" is abstract, but the question becomes, objectively, how much detail to you need to turn something from abstract to non-abstract. What test can we come up with that will apply to all patents, rather than having to make an individual test for each patent?
 
2013-06-24 04:30:17 PM  
Given that all - and I mean absolutely ALL - lawyers are technically ignorant (read stupid, morons, retards, etc) it follows that all judges are equal or possibly worse.

BTW, I have patented beating the stuffing out of patent trolls, so you need need to pay me before you can follow through on what needs to be done.

BTWBTW: Jeff Bezos should be first.
 
2013-06-24 04:40:44 PM  

rosebud_the_sled: Given that all - and I mean absolutely ALL - lawyers are technically ignorant (read stupid, morons, retards, etc) it follows that all judges are equal or possibly worse.


I work with several PhDs, and those of us without doctorates all have years and years of industry experience as engineers, programmers, etc. In fact, you can't become a patent attorney without sufficient technical background. Judge Lourie on the Federal Circuit has a doctorate and was a chemist for 13 years before getting a law degree.
 
hej
2013-06-24 04:48:20 PM  

hammer85: Wow..that didn't format properly at all....

A method for distribution of products over the Internet via a facilitator, said method comprising the steps of:

a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;

a second step of selecting a sponsor message to be associated with the media product, said sponsor message being selected from a plurality of sponsor messages, said second step including accessing an activity log to verify that the total number of times which the sponsor message has been previously presented is less than the number of transaction cycles contracted by the sponsor of the sponsor message;

a third step of providing the media product for sale at an Internet website;

a fourth step of restricting general public access to said media product;

a fifth step of offering to a consumer access to the media product without charge to the consumer on the precondition that the consumer views the sponsor message;

a sixth step of receiving from the consumer a request to view the sponsor message, wherein the consumer submits said request in response to being offered access to the media product;

a seventh step of, in response to receiving the request from the consumer, facilitating the display of a sponsor message to the consumer;

an eighth step of, if the sponsor message is not an interactive message, allowing said consumer access to said media product after said step of facilitating the display of said sponsor message;

a ninth step of, if the sponsor message is an interactive message, presenting at least one query to the consumer and allowing said consumer access to said media product after receiving a response to said at least one query;

a tenth step of recording the transaction event to the activity log, said tenth step including updating the t ...


It's not all that abstract, but I thought there was a requirement for patents to be non-obvious?  This list seems like nothing more than just a business model, not so much a technology or it's implementation.
 
2013-06-24 04:52:30 PM  

hej: hammer85: Wow..that didn't format properly at all....


It's not all that abstract, but I thought there was a requirement for patents to be non-obvious?  This list seems like nothing more than just a business model, not so much a technology or it's implementation.


I'm not making any statements as to the validity of the patent other than someone who did their job stated that it was non-obvious and until the courts say differently it's a valid patent.

I'm just arguing against the moron blogger that says that a fairly specific 11 step method is somehow abstract and therefore be invalidated and that the Federal Circuit are idiots for allowing an abstract idea because he probably only read the title of the patent and went, HOLY shiatBALLS HOW IS THAT ALLOWED?

I mean christ, the moron couldn't even cite the patent number or the claimed language in at least some attempt to prove his point other than patents bad retarded blogger good.
 
2013-06-24 04:54:27 PM  

Teiritzamna: From the article alone i almost got bingo.  

I do however expect that this will be the basis for next year's supreme court ass-beating of the Federal Circuit.


I'm really looking forward to that. SCOTUS already sent it back once.

I've realized that I actually enjoy these legal complexities and subtle judicial biatchslaps. Maybe I should look into patent law, and law school.
 
2013-06-24 04:59:33 PM  
hej:
It's not all that abstract, but I thought there was a requirement for patents to be non-obvious?  This list seems like nothing more than just a business model, not so much a technology or it's implementation.If that list is "nothing more than just a business model, not so much a technology or its implementation," then it's abstract. Non-obviousness is a  different requirement.There are basically four different and independent requirements to getting a patent on a process:1: the claimed process must not be "abstract"2: the claimed process must not be already known
3: the claimed process must not be obvious in view of what is already known4: the claimed process must be sufficiently described in the applicationIf something is just a business model, not a technology or implementation, then it's "abstract" and fails 1. It could be super inventive and novel and nonobvious and well described pass #2-4 perfectly, but isn't patent eligible subject matter under #1.Conversely, something can be totally non-abstract, but be obvious (even if no one has done it before), like "a method for making a sandwich, comprising spreading peanut butter on a first slice of bread;  placing a mixture of tuna fish and chocolate nibs on a second slice of bread; and pressing the two slices of bread together." Totally concrete, probably new, and yet entirely obvious in view of the existence of all those elements and normal sammiches.That claim above may be non-obvious - certainly, no one has shown that prior art exists that proves it's obvious - but the question is whether it's abstract or not.
 
2013-06-24 05:01:17 PM  
Reformatted. Stupid Fark.

If that list is "nothing more than just a business model, not so much a technology or its implementation," then it's abstract.Non-obviousness is adifferent requirement.

There are basically four different and independent requirements to getting a patent on a process:
1: the claimed process must not be "abstract"
2: the claimed process must not be already known
3: the claimed process must not be obvious in view of what is already known
4: the claimed process must be sufficiently described in the application

If something is just a business model, not a technology or implementation, then it's "abstract" and fails 1. It could be super inventive and novel and nonobvious and well described pass #2-4 perfectly, but isn't patent eligible subject matter under #1.

Conversely, something can be totally non-abstract, but be obvious (even if no one has done it before), like "a method for making a sandwich, comprising spreading peanut butter on a first slice of bread;  placing a mixture of tuna fish and chocolate nibs on a second slice of bread; and pressing the two slices of bread together."
Totally concrete, probably new, and yet entirely obvious in view of the existence of all those elements and normal sammiches.

That claim above in this patent may be non-obvious - certainly, no one has shown that prior art exists that proves it's obvious - but the question is whether it's abstract or not.
 
2013-06-24 05:02:33 PM  
(also, before anyone jumps on me, business methods can be patent eligible, too, so "just a business model" is not enough to make something abstract vs. non-abstract. The key is whether there's an implementation there or just an idea)
 
2013-06-24 05:03:13 PM  

Theaetetus: Fish in a Barrel: It seems like ubiquity should be a defense against patent infringement.  When one of these submarine patents surfaces, and it turns out half of the web is infringing, that should be a solid indicator that the patented idea was not novel.

Except that if the patent pre-dates half the web infringing, then that's a solid indicator that not only was the patented idea novel, it was non-obvious, because otherwise, someone would have started doing it earlier.


That's a flawed argument. The unspoken assumption is that there is no such thing as an independent invention. Given a particular environment with similar problems and with similar people with similar skills, multiple people are going to converge on a particular solution to the problem on their own. It happens all the time in science, and has plenty of historical precedence. The only difference between all the people converging on the solution is that one of them patented it, while the others didn't.
 
2013-06-24 05:23:02 PM  

hammer85: a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;


So since the data is not for sale, but rather a license to access it, how does this patent apply to any modern media whatsoever?
 
2013-06-24 05:54:50 PM  

Kinek: Theaetetus: Fish in a Barrel: It seems like ubiquity should be a defense against patent infringement.  When one of these submarine patents surfaces, and it turns out half of the web is infringing, that should be a solid indicator that the patented idea was not novel.

Except that if the patent pre-dates half the web infringing, then that's a solid indicator that not only was the patented idea novel, it was non-obvious, because otherwise, someone would have started doing it earlier.

That's a flawed argument. The unspoken assumption is that there is no such thing as an independent invention. Given a particular environment with similar problems and with similar people with similar skills, multiple people are going to converge on a particular solution to the problem on their own. It happens all the time in science, and has plenty of historical precedence. The only difference between all the people converging on the solution is that one of them patented it, while the others didn't.


Those points have nothing to do with my argument. Look up "secondary indicia of non-obviousness".

The argument you are trying to make is that, if multiple people in a field are converging on an invention and maybe would  eventually reach it, then it's per se obvious. Lots of people are working on hybrid or full-electric cars now... Why, one could certainly say the field has been converging on that since the invention of the steam engine. Was a Tesla Model S obvious in 1781 when Watt built his engine? How about in the 1st century when the Greeks made the aeoliple - was the Tesla obvious then? By your definition, people were converging on it, so therefore it must  have been obvious, no?

That, however, is not the legal definition of obviousness. An invention is obvious if one of ordinary skill in the art, with knowledge of the state of the art available at the time, would know how to solve the problem addressed by the invention in the exact same way - not whether they could eventually come up with the same solution, after further years of trial and error and experimentation, but whether, at that moment, they could sit down and write out the same exact solution. So, for example, if I claimed I invented making a red computer, comprising getting a beige computer and painting it red, we could agree that that would be obvious to anyone with access to a computer and red paint. But if I claimed a gas-electric hybrid planetary transmission, that wouldn't necessarily have been obvious to Aristotle or James Watt... or even the designers at Ford in the 1970s.

Turning to what I was talking about, if you come up with an idea and no one's doing it, and you patent it and publish it, and then immediately everyone starts doing it and making tons of money, that's evidence that the idea wasn't obvious: if an idea is valuable and obvious, then someone else would have done it by now, because it's worth money and they would also have thought of it. Free money. Like, say the invention is one that makes everyone's downloads go twice as fast... If that was obvious, wouldn't everyone be doing it? And if the inventor publishes it, and then suddenly everyone starts doing it, isn't that evidence that had they known about it before the inventor published, they would have been doing it, so therefore, it couldn't have been obvious?
 
2013-06-24 06:01:16 PM  

ProfessorOhki: hammer85: a first step of receiving, from a content provider, media products that are covered by intellectual-property rights protection and are available for purchase, wherein each said media product being comprised of at least one of text data, music data, and video data;

So since the data is not for sale, but rather a license to access it, how does this patent apply to any modern media whatsoever?


Doctrine of equivalents. If you perform the patented process, with an insignificant substitution of an element, you still infringe. The substitution is insignificant, if it performs substantially the same function as in the claims, in substantially the same way, to yield substantially the same result. The argument here is that receiving a license for access to media is an insignificant change from receiving a license for a copy of the media, at least as far as these patent claims are concerned - the terms of the license don't change anything about how advertising is used.
 
2013-06-24 06:16:28 PM  

nmrsnr: Without knowing anything about this particular case, the author of this article needs to brush up on what is patentable, the law is "whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." It has long been held that methods fall squarely under the "process" category. Amazon's one click patent is a method of purchasing, clearing checks electronically and scanning documents are similarly methods of doing things. Regardless of whether or not these things are actually new, they are patent eligible. This guy seems to think that only physical doodads are patentable. That is false.


The people holding the network scanning patent were pursuing my company, asking for a minimum of $50k in license fees, because our integration of a printer that had a scan to email button and our network to actually scan to email was an infringing activity, but the company who made the printer wasn't infringing by including the feature.

According to a recent letter from them, they are no longer pursuing new license agreements since Canon got involved and there are doubts about the legitimacy of their patent.    Like Ricoh describing network scanning in a patent about 5 years before their was awarded.
 
2013-06-24 06:38:35 PM  

Theaetetus: The argument you are trying to make is that, if multiple people in a field are converging on an invention and maybe would  eventually reach it, then it's per se obvious. Lots of people are working on hybrid or full-electric cars now...


That's sort've my argument. It's not that it's per se obvious because multiple people are studying it, but that multiple people given the same resources, and education, will come up with the same solution to the problem. Now, it's difficult to draw a bright line and say where non-obviousness begins, and where obviousness ends I'm not arguing with you on legal definitions since you are A) More knowledgeable about technical law terms, and B) More familiar with the current state of precedence. I'm arguing about:

Theaetetus: Except that if the patent pre-dates half the web infringing, then that's a solid indicator that not only was the patented idea novel, it was non-obvious, because otherwise, someone would have started doing it earlier.


This in particular. Wide adoption indicates one of two things (or possibly an admixture) Either a) The Patent was instrumental in establishing a standard, and was used as reference, or b) Conditions were right and either everybody innovated at the same time, or that it was obvious and the USPTO got it wrong.

You seem to leap immediately to conclusion a), while everything that I've experienced in science and from what I know of the engineers I've worked with suggests b). At least on something like this. Highly technical things like your electric engine I would suggest actually fall into A. Anything that takes time to implement and problem test would tend to fall into a), while 'ideas' or 'discoveries' would tend to fall into b)

Theaetetus: And if the inventor publishes it, and then suddenly everyone starts doing it, isn't that evidence that had they known about it before the inventor published, they would have been doing it, so therefore, it couldn't have been obvious?


This reeks of post hoc ergo proctor hoc. Just saying.
 
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