131 Companies Sued Over Global Text Messaging Patent

from the couldn't-find-anyone-else? dept

The anonymous Patent Troll Tracker points us to a new patent case that appears to involve an astounding 131 defendants, including T-Mobile, Vodafone, China Resources Peoples Telephone Company Ltd, AT&T, Samsung, Palm, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, all concerning patents related to sending text messages internationally, using the internet for part of the trip. Not surprisingly, the patent in question is a continuation patent, which even the USPTO is trying to cut back on, after seeing them abused too often. The patent was just granted last month. Shouldn't it make someone scratch their head to wonder how 131 different companies could all be infringing on a patent just issued? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the idea is fairly obvious and never should have received a patent. Now, obviously, you can go back to 1996, when the original patent was filed, but again, the concept seems like the natural progression of the space, which is perhaps why so many companies use it in some way or another.

Filed Under: patents, sms, text messaging


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  1. identicon
    Justin G, 13 Nov 2007 @ 10:16am

    A lot of people seem to be arguing that such a patent was non obvious back in 1996, but I think there are 2 critical points here. First, the patent's abstract describes the use of the internet to implement a paging system. It was probably not uncommon at the time to send such messages over a packet switched network. Second, the patent is a continuation patent meaning that some of the claims in the granted patent were probably not covered by the original filing and were added to broaden the patent to cover text messaging as it rose in popularity.

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