Rich Media Online? Patented!

from the yeah,-the-patent-system-works-great,-huh? dept

A bunch of people have submitted today’s fun “how did that ever get approved?!?” patent. An internet design firm now owns a patent on a method for creating rich media online. Considering just how prevalent rich media is becoming, that could cover an awful lot — though, it certainly seems like there was plenty of rich media and rich media creation systems prior to 2001 when this patent was filed. Looking at the details of the patent, though, it does seem more focused on the tools for creating rich media — but again, it’s hard to see why that passes the “non-obvious” test. Also, patents are supposed to be for specific implementations, but that’s clearly not the case here at all. Even the owner of the new patent notes: “The patent covers all rich-media technology implementations including Flash, Flex, Java, AJAX and XAML and all device footprints which access rich-media Internet applications including desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes and video game consoles.” That certainly doesn’t seem like a specific implementation. If this really were for a “non-obvious” idea… then how is that there’s so much rich media online today without everyone taking the ideas from this patent?

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Comments on “Rich Media Online? Patented!”

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Nilt says:

Re: No Subject Given

The fact that something happens every day does NOT mean it shouldn’t be reported. By the same reasoning we should pay no more attention to fraud or theft because it also happens every day. To stretch that a bit, one could say murders shouldn’t be covered because they’re common but that’s a bit too far.

The fact is that if the mass media, rather than a few geeks, would actually start talking about this then we’d have change soon. The people I talk to about this are shocked that it happens at all, let alone is common.

What’s obvious to the average “joe” is that by the time a patent gets approved, the world’s often moved on and only the early few to apply for patents on what is cutting edge will benefit if this is allowed to contnue. How long will we allow our rights to be eroded before we finaly stand up and say enough? It’s people like Dufus here who allow these perversions of our “protections” to occur. By simply not caring, they allow their rights to be either eroded or simply taken away.

bigpicture says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

So then the average citizen who goes to work every day and pays his taxes, and does not have a lot of time left to research how his rights are being eroded. And who votes for government representation that is supposed to be looking after these rights. Does that not raise the question of job competency and diligence of this government representation? How come malpractice suits are not forthcoming? Although not medical, this is still a matter of “quality of life”.

Xanius says:

Person who summarized is an idiot.

If you read the details of the patent it states that the patent is for a way for average “joe” to create a website using rich-media applications…aka flash,java.

The present invention relates to the method of providing users with the ability to create rich-media applications via the Internet. In a specific embodiment, users may access a host website supplying the ability to create rich-media applications, examine the available product set, and construct a rich-media application on the host website. In a specific embodiment, the host website enables the user to modify an existing rich-media application on the host website.

That says it all…it’s under the summary of invention section.

I still disagree with the patent on a basis of patenting a way of working with software isn’t what patents are for. But the patent itself isn’t anything like what the author of the article made it out to be.

Xanius says:

Re: Person who summarized is an idiot.

Clarifying a bit.

The patent is for the implementation of a remote service to allow people use programs such as macromedia sutdio 8, without buying the suite, the ocmpany buys and registers and then people pay a fee to use it, they provide you with the tools, some templates, backgrounds, the basics of a website and you can momdify it as you like without having to do the hard flash work or the css, you just need to know the pictures text and colors you want for the most part.

Michael says:

Re: Person who summarized is an idiot.

Xanius has it dead on. Mike even alluded to it in his post, although skewed by his own agenda, as usual.

To make it perfectly clear, it is not a patent on rich media. It does not cover Flash itself, for example. READ THE PATENT! It uses big words, but it’s in plain English, I assure you.

It is merely a patent on a way to generate rich media using a dumbed down web front end to existing tools, to enable non-technical users to take advantage of applications such as Flash.

When the talk about “licensing”, they’re referring to arranging licensing of Flash (and other tools) for use by end users through their site, not forcing Adobe to pay licensing fees to them.

Now, is this a valid patent? I tend to have the same doubts as Xanius, but I really don’t know.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Person who summarized is an idiot.

If you read the details of the patent it states that the patent is for a way for average “joe” to create a website using rich-media applications…aka flash,java.

Er… I do mention that. However, note what the inventor is now trying to claim the patent covers after the fact. He’s pitching it as something much larger — which was the point we were focusing on.

I have no problem with being called an idiot, but I’d prefer it to be on things that actually are a bit more idiotic. 🙂

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