Dynamic Webpages? Patented!
from the ugh dept
Phil writes in with the latest examples of patent silliness. Apparently Epicrealm has a series of patents on things such as dynamic webpage generation that they’re now using to sue plenty of companies, including eHarmony. Of course, eHarmony isn’t without its own patent silliness as well, having patented the secrets to successful relationship. Isn’t the patent system great?
Comments on “Dynamic Webpages? Patented!”
“Isn’t the patent system great?”
Excuse me? I’ve patented criticism of the patent system. You’re going to want to either remove that or pay some damned royalties. Think you can freeload off of my original ideas…
Re: Excuse me?
HA! google ads has put two advertizments bottom of this page for companies that help you file patents. Brilliant.
I patented lame business plans...
I patented the idea of registering a patent on an already obvious/existing system/idea and then suing the beejeezus out of anyone i pick.
My first suit will be against RAMBUS, who, as you already know, tried to sue RAM manufacturers after patenting a process that was already “open” and in discussion in standards groups.
From one who lived through the web boom...
It’s no exaggeration to say that every idea in that patent filing had been implemented by dozens, if not hundreds, of software companies by 1997.
Too bad you didn't think it up
If all these patents are so obvious…why don’t you create a list of all the technologies and processes that are obvious to you at this point…they will all be considered “prior art” thus invalidating all the obvious patents that you so abhor.
In this way, you will personally solve the “obvious patent problem” and free yourself up to address more important issues in technology, this making techdirt the true hero of the intellectual property “problem”.
This should not be a problem for you, since all of these ideas are so obvious. I have tasked my teenagers with the same challenge.
Re: Too bad you didn't think it up
they will all be considered “prior art” thus invalidating all the obvious patents that you so abhor.
You seem to be working under the mistaken assumption that prior art will be considered.
Please explain EXACTLY how this ‘prior art’ is to be delivered to the patent office so it will be considered.
Re: Re: Too bad you didn't think it up
FIG. 1 illustrates a typical computer system in which the present invention operates.
FIG. 2 illustrates a typical prior art Web server environment.
FIG. 3 illustrates a typical prior art Web server environment in the form of a flow diagram.
FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of the presently claimed invention.
FIG. 5 illustrates the processing of a Web browser request in the form of a flow diagram, according to one embodiment of the presently claimed invention.
Re: Re: Too bad you didn't think it up
“Prior art” is what patent examiners look for when investigating a potential patent. They search databases, the web, and other patents looking for evidence that the process or invention described in the patent application has been written about, previously invented, patented or copyrighted. If they find evidence or “prior art” they will not grant the specific claims, and in most cases will not grant the patent. So if techdirt was to allow its readers to list all of the “obvious inventions” that will logically occur in the future of technology, and describe exactly how they will work, then the patent office will not be able to grant patents to future inventors who claim to have invented something unique, because “prior art” would exist, in the form of a blog on the internet.
Re: Re: Re: Too bad you didn't think it up
Heh. Notice Chip ignored the point about the difference between prior art and obviousness.
Anyway, as I said above, there is a big difference, and if the natural progression of things leads multiple people to the same conclusion then it’s hard to see it as unique enough to deserve a patent. That doesn’t mean we *ALL* need to know what those things are. In fact, in many cases (such as the ones being pointed out here) the ideas seem *SO* obvious that the very concept of patenting them is ridiculous that it makes no sense to even list them out.
Re: Re: Re:2 Too bad you didn't think it up
The issue of “obviousness” is really subjective. If the patent office was given the right to block applications due to “obviousness”, we really would have a mess. The question would always be, “obvious to who…and why”. So unless you stop issuing patents of all kinds, “obviousness” will never be a criteria.
I do think you are correct that there seems to be a sort of collective intelligence where people in the industry conclude independently of each other that certain methods of doing things make more sense than the others. Even in software, as complex as it is, there are only so many ways to skin a cat. I guess where all the angst about the patent situation comes from is that some individuals figure out one of those cat skinning technics before the collective, and file a patent on it.
Re: Re: Re:3 Too bad you didn't think it up
Well, the patent office’s charter answers your question: “obvious to the skilled practitioner.” So there you go on the “who” and “why” part.
So, if you agree that there’s a collective intelligence leading to the same conclusion, why is it fair that the guy who comes up with it a day before someone else (or, worse, just files it hours before someone else) should get a 20 year monopoly on the idea? What if the second guy uses that extra day to do a *better* implementation of the same idea — one that the market greatly prefers?
Re: Too bad you didn't think it up
As I’ve pointed out numerous times, the issue isn’t prior art. Obviousness and prior art are not the same thing. A patent is only supposed to be granted to an idea that is non-obvious to skilled practitioners. As we have suggested, that’s quite easy to show. If others come up with the idea independently without knowing of the patent in question, then clearly, the idea is obvious to at least more than one skilled practitioner — and thus, should not receive a patent.
In the meantime, are you honestly suggesting that these patents are non-obvious and therefore deserving of a patent?
No Subject Given
Sorry, I have patended talking and writing.
The creation of sounds in structured order meaning anything specific.
Typing on the keyboard while touching it with fingers and/or hands.
Also the patent for walking from A to C through B is validated.
and ohh duh, forgot I also have a pantent on breathing.
Re: No Subject Given
I have patented expanding and contracting your lungs to breathe…you must ALL pay me royalties
I’ll be nice and just take 50% of everyone’s yearly income…or you must stop breathing.
They haven’t patented dynamic web page generation. just a distributed architecture to carry out dynamic web page generation across multiple servers.
I’ve lost the will to live to actually look into the prior art… perhaps a patent attorney could pay me to do the investigation. 🙂
Re: Not exactly
Right … I only read the first half of the patent but at this point it’s certainly not obvious or even known to me, someone who has professionally worked on web servers for ten years. I can’t immediately recall anything like this published before July 2001, if even before today. The system is still broken for many reasons but as usual techdirt grossly misreports the news.
Oh, now I see the source is Slashdot. Well, there you go. It may be about time to drop techdirt from freshnews.
Re: Re: Not exactly
“As usual?” Sorry if you feel that way, but if you believe that we “usually” “grossly misreport” the news, then we’d appreciate you letting us know, rather than making grand statements. If you don’t want to read us, don’t read us. If you think you have feedback that will help us, let us know.