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USPTO Orders Reexam of Trend Micro's AntiVirus Patent Based on Prior Art
Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 05:10 PM EDT

Once again, your prior art searching on Groklaw proved useful.

The USPTO on September 16 issued an order granting Fortinet's petition to reexamine the validity of the Trend Micro patent on antivirus functionality, the 5,623,600 patent, on the grounds that a "substantial new question of patentability" exists based on prior art now being considered. Fortinet publicly acknowledges the help of the open source community, specifically mentioning the prior art searching you guys did here on Groklaw in June. The ultimate outcome is yet to be determined, of course, and that's in the hands of the lawyers now, but you guys did your part. It's a great partnership, techies and lawyers, and I thank you for working hard on this, and I hope it leads to a just resolution.

A relevant snip from Fortinet:

As a follow-up to my earlier blog post on the subject of Trend Micro’s history of patent aggression, there are a couple recent developments worth noting:

First, on September 16, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) issued a formal order [PDF] granting Fortinet’s petition to re-examine the validity of Trend Micro’s patent on antivirus functionality, the 5,623,600 patent, stating that a “substantial new question of patentability” exists with respect to the patent based on prior art currently being considered by the US PTO.

Second, and most notably, a member of the open source community has recently filed a separate petition (control number 90/011,022) with the US PTO to re-examine the same Trend Micro patent presenting even more evidence of the patent’s invalidity. This is significant because it validates Fortinet’s position and it shows the resolve and resourcefulness of the open source community to challenge invalid patents that are a menace to the community. Indeed, the open source community at large provided valuable assistance to Fortinet in researching its challenge to Trend Micro’s aggressive patent approach.

That last link about "valuable assistance" is to Groklaw's prior art work on this patent, and I knew you'd want to know.

Next? The community will definitely help locate prior art, if it exists, with regard to any patent it perceives as threatening the community's interests. And I'm really excited that it is working out, because it was my dream for Groklaw from the beginning, to have the FOSS community help lawyers get the tech right. I believed you could do it, and now that I see that you can indeed do this, frankly it's a dream come true for me, and it feels mighty fine.


USPTO Orders Reexam of Trend Micro's AntiVirus Patent Based on Prior Art | 119 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 05:23 PM EDT
Get your corrections here. Freshly caught this morning. Nice fresh corrections!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Ed L. on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 05:32 PM EDT
Non-alcoholic, non-anonymous. Please note the erroneous text in the title of your comment. Thanks!

Real Programmers mangle their own memory.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Ed L. on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 05:34 PM EDT
Topical comments upon that which the noose editor deigns to post to your right ===>

Real Programmers mangle their own memory.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topics.
Authored by: Ed L. on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 05:37 PM EDT
Please use HTML mode for your links... Thanks!

Real Programmers mangle their own memory.

[ Reply to This | # ]

on topic thread
Authored by: designerfx on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 06:04 PM EDT
here's a new idea, let's keep on topic discussion here

makes it easier to sort

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google Oracle Thread
Authored by: SilverWave on Thursday, September 23 2010 @ 06:52 PM EDT

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: celtic_hackr on Friday, September 24 2010 @ 03:11 AM EDT
Nice to get recognition, but I don't see how we helped them much. They don't
seem to have changed much, if any, from what they had built before we started
searching. Of course using the TIS Firewall is brilliant. Nothing better than
defeating patents with Open Source Software. :)

I remember throwing out a few recommendations.

Maybe Google will ask us for some help. Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge.

[ Reply to This | # ]

what Antivirus software does
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 24 2010 @ 09:35 AM EDT
"A system for detecting and eliminating viruses on a computer network includes a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) proxy server, for controlling the transfer of files and a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) proxy server for controlling the transfer of mail messages through the system. The FTP proxy..." lin k

Antivirus softare, just a highly customized pattern recognition tool. Where's the `innovation', they just tacked on a SMTP and an FTP server ..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Curious question
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 24 2010 @ 06:26 PM EDT
In order to recognize viruses, antivirus manufacturers build, maintain, and sell
a database of virus "signatures" as part of the product. This
database contains many unique fragments from many viruses.

Is this not copyright infringement? Could a virus writer sue the antivirus
company to keep his code out of their database?

[ Reply to This | # ]

One of PJ's goals met
Authored by: iraskygazer on Thursday, September 30 2010 @ 08:48 AM EDT

Can see by your comment that another of your many goals for Groklaw is being
fulfilled. ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

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