Putting Metadata In Video For Search Purposes? Patented! Microsoft Sued

from the it-never-ends dept

The last time we wrote about a small company called Gotuit Media, it was in 2003, when the company was suing TiVo for an excessively broad patent about recording TV while playing back TV concurrently. Apparently, the company is still in the business of suing other companies that are putting obvious ideas into practice. For example, it's now suing Microsoft over its implementation of Silverlight-based videos for the Olympics on NBC's website. Microsoft's crime? Apparently the videos are going to include some metadata that will make them searchable, allowing users to search and find specific content. And, that, according to Gotuit, is patent infringement.

Of course, that's ridiculous. If you were to tackle the problem of how to create a search engine for video, one of the first things just about any competent programmer would think of is adding text metadata to the video that would then be used for search. But, thanks to the patent system, apparently you can only do that if you've agreed to pay Gotuit a licensing fee.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    CrazyGoatIdol, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 9:54pm

    Any links to the actual patent?

    Anyone have a link to the actual patent that is at issue? Seems like something that should be included in a post like this...

     

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    identicon
    Mogilny, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 9:59pm

    My Patent

    I patent the idea of profiting from stupid patents.

     

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    Rick, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 10:46pm

    How did they get this patent?

    Look at this paragraph; 8. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein said set of segment descriptors is visually organized in an ordered sequence which corresponds to the sequence in which the segments identified by said set occur within a given one of said video programs. Isn't that called a Table of Contents? I am sure that no one thought about or used Ordered Segment Descriptors (TOC) before 2004.

     

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    identicon
    Rick, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 11:03pm

    Another pertinant patent

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      mkam, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:50am

      Re: Another pertinant patent

      Wow. That one was filed for in 2000 and approved in 2002. Who thought of swinging on a swing before 2000? Definitely not me.

       

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        identicon
        Ralph, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: Another pertinant patent

        That is actually for swinging side-to-side, rather than front-to-back (the way most people swing). The back story is that the father (a lawyer) was trying to teach his son a lesson about patents and the USPTO. Apparently the lesson was "Look, son, this is how you can game the system."

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    Unordered

    "wherein said set of segment descriptors is visually organized in an ordered sequence"

    Seems all that is needed for this case to fail is to show that the descriptors are unordered.

     

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    identicon
    stallman toldya so, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:16am

    join us now and...

    It is well known that software patents, by design and implementation, often lead to these surreal situations. It is time we join mr Stallman and get rid of this, and possibly other, kinds of patents. Europe is ahead on this front.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      John Wilson, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:46am

      Re: join us now and...

      I hate to tell you this but some in Europe keep trying to get software patents in through the back door and they're making another attempt as I type this.

      ttfn

      John

       

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  •  
    identicon
    stallman toldya so, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:20am

    anyway...

    it's good for a change to see patents used against one of the patent-proprietary-obscurantist giants.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:44am

      Re: anyway...

      It is not good, no matter how much you dislike Microsoft. Software should not be patented. Plain and simple.

       

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      DittoBox, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 11:51am

      Re: anyway...

      BS patents owned by large companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc have rarely been used to screw over small companies. Apple has on occasion done this (freetype and their font hinting and rendering patents), but again this is rare.

      Instead patents are increasingly used by small litigation houses to extort the larger corporations who find it cheaper to simply settle, license or pay royalties than to screw around in court for months or years on end fighting it.

       

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    identicon
    DanielZ1, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:03am

    Patents and Microsoft

    Let's not forget that Microsoft has not been totally innocent in the past. They have opening admitted to stealing technology and then challenging the company they are screwing to sue them. Also, they have been known to buy a company to obtain the technology legally if it was more expedient to do so then to defend their theft efforts.

    Also, Microsoft was given a Trade Mark for Window - how stupid is that? It was already a common term in the industry and therefore should NOT have been allowed to trademark the name Windows.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Patent Whore, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:29am

    I'm patenting the idea of a business model that does nothing but sue people for patents.

     

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    identicon
    Ralph, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    Where are the patent defenders?

    Gee, where are all the patent system defenders? Or is this one so overwhelmingly wrong, so incredibly absurd, that even angry dude hasn't shown up to argue in favor of the patent system?

     

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      identicon
      Willton, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Where are the patent defenders?

      Gee, where are all the patent system defenders? Or is this one so overwhelmingly wrong, so incredibly absurd, that even angry dude hasn't shown up to argue in favor of the patent system?

      If this patent is as overly broad and obvious as some here claim it is, then it's a problem with the USPTO, not the patent system itself. Pro-patent folks, such as myself, realize that there are serious problems with the USPTO's patent examination process that need to be rectified. An honest debate about whether the patent system is good or bad shouldn't bring up shitty patents such as this one.

      Besides, attempting to enlighten the minds of stubborn programmers is an excercise in futility.

       

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    identicon
    Darren Kopp, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    it's one thing to sue tivo when it's starting up, but MS is gonna f*** them up and win the lawsuit, and possibly prove that ms has prior art in windows 3.1.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 1:33pm

    This patent was a shitty idea anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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