Silly Patent Of The Day: Adobe Hit With Lawsuit Over Hyperlink Patent

from the oh,-come-on dept

I think it’s about time we came up with a new topic/icon for stupid patents. There are just so many of them these days. The latest is that Adobe, who is no stranger to abusing intellectual property rules, is now being hit with a patent over their PDF technology. The patent is for a method of extracting network information via hyperlinks. Reading through the patent, they’re basically describing a system for clicking on a hyperlinking and having the system not only download the page in question, but all locally related pages linked from that page as well. Perhaps a useful system, but it seems like this sort of technology was around well before the patent was granted, and it’s unclear what it has to do with PDF files.

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Comments on “Silly Patent Of The Day: Adobe Hit With Lawsuit Over Hyperlink Patent”

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Adam (user link) says:

Maybe crazy...

Well, looking at the actual patent, it seems to be primarily designed to let you say “I need this document, and all the documents that it links to, that are on our corporate server” so that their software can pull them all down and wrap them onto a CD for offline use.

Now, part of their patent seems to make a point of being able to do things “locally” and part of it mentions “without network connectivity”. If it’s a “locally thing”, this may devolve to just the way that web browsers work, and there’s prior art. If they’re talking explicitly about the case of bundling for offline use, this may not be so silly. Not to say that someone probably didn’t think about it at one time or another, if only as a simple way of doing development on a common server and then building out to a CD-ROM.

Richard Prosser says:

No Subject Given

So why was a patent granted in the first place?
I found a similar case recently, where a trademark was granted for the term “Webzine”. This is clearly a concept, not a product, as the trademark description itself indicates. It is also well-established in the public domain. So why on earth was the mark granted by the relevant authority?
IMO it is not the companies that make these silly claims that are really the guilty parties, it’s the legal system that allows such abuses to be given official approval.

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