Although this is Paul Allen's company Interval Licensing LLC, who is asserting their patents, Patent infringement cases like these will become the norm. This is just an example of what should occur with the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) by companies, who are fighting against a global fraud problem.
For example, China is the E.U.'s second-largest supplier of goods, after the U.S., but leads the field as the main source of counterfeit goods entering the E.U. Last year, almost 65 percent of all articles detained by customs on suspicion of violating trademarks, copyrights or patents came from China.
Application of the law must be universal with respect to IPR, whether its Chinese companies or US companies!
If that is the best patents that 110 scientists and engineers came up with, then I am not surprised they are defunct. Why don't they sue the big TV broadcasters? Clearly, they have been using attention managers in the periphery of the display for decades. National Weather Service alerts have scrolled in the periphery under control of an attention manager since the 1960's.
These sort of patents are mostly interesting to lawyers. Everyone else, even those not trained in the art, sees them as a logical and obvious extension of existing technology.
This is hilarious, especially considering who was NOT sued! The "Browser" patent was filed in 1996, has 129 claims and the first claim begins with "A system for acquiring and reviewing a body of information...". The body of the patent describes a "news browser" that integrates audio, video and text from different sources on a display.
Remember, this was filed in 1996.
Here's a thought for the day: "Intellectual Property" is neither "intellectual" nor "property." Discuss!
This is interesting but it does again point out how much of the original user interface technology came out of Xerox. Recall the Apple versus Microsoft lawsuit which resulted in a counter suing of Xerox on Apple. It was thrown out, allegedly due to Xerox waitin to long to file suit. Thus, I suspect that the same may be true here.
People here have raised many valid concerns. However, many of these concerns have already been addressed by the patent system. For example, a patent owner who is no longer making any products of its own is limited in the damages it can recover. Damages are limited to a "reasonably royalty" rather than "lost profits." Also, patent damages can only be collected for, at most, the past 6 years. The large companies that Interval has sued are hardly the kind of defendants that one worries about, in terms of abuse of the patent system. Interval must think it has a good case, or it would not try to challenge these companies.
I have concerns on a number of levels with the lawsuits. It seems "too late" for the lawsuit to be filed due to the length of time and commonality use. If (for example) Google had just come out and was starting to use the "IP" then I can see the lawsuit, but after all these years? I'm sorry not a chance, just like the squatters on property have some rights to it after some period of time without the owner contesting their presence. The patents themselves (note: did not read them but inferred from the titles) see ridiculous in their over broad reach. It seems to me that they could have just as easily tried to patent the use of keyboards and mice for navigating the web! Kinda obvious use of existing technology IMNO.
Given that the originating company no longer exists (and it appears from the article) or ever created a prototype use of their IP I find it hard to accept their claim to "injury". They did not seem to use it themselves nor does its use now hurt them. Just a few thoughts..
I remember years back when a prototype was required to prove the concept before a patent was granted, the patent system worked better. Now, a patent can be granted with just an idea. I totally understand the competitive nature of product ideas. The change seems to be necessary. Nonetheless, if the execution of the right is hurting the growth of technologies, I seriously have concern over the patent system. In addition, if someone has been living in your property for last 12 years and you didn't say a word in the last 12 years, do you still have the right to kick them out?
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