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Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:00 AM EDT

MOSAID Technologies, Inc. filed a patent infringement complaint [PDF] against Red Hat, IBM, Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks, NetApp and VMWare on August 10. The interesting thing about the complaint is that all of the defendants, except Red Hat, are sued under one patent, while Red Hat is the only defendant under the other patent. Why the actions under these different patents should proceed as a single action is beyond me, and I will be surprised if Red Hat doesn't look to sever the complaint and proceed alone.

MOSAID is a Canadian company and a non-producing entity (yes, go ahead and call them a troll if you would like). Its sole business is to acquire and enforce patents, although it does claim to have developed some of its own patented inventions.

The patent asserted against Red Hat is U.S. Patent No. 5,892,914, entitled "System For Accessing Distributed Data Cache At Each Network Node To Pass Requirements And Data."

Although patent abstracts are, to a large extent, useless, the abstract for the '914 patent describes it as:

Network Distributed Caches ("NDCs") (50) permit accessing a named dataset stored at an NDC server terminator site (22) in response to a request submitted to an NDC client terminator site (24) by a client workstation (42). In accessing the dataset, the NDCs (50) form a NDC data conduit (62) that provides an active virtual circuit ("AVC") from the NDC client site (24) through intermediate NDC sites (26B, 26A) to the NDC server site (22). Through the AVC provided by the conduit (62), the NDC sites (22, 26A and 26B) project an image of the requested portion of the named dataset into the NDC client site (24) where it may be either read or written by the workstation 42. The NDCs (50) maintain absolute consistency between the source dataset and its projections at all NDC client terminator sites (24, 204B and 206) at which client workstations access the dataset. Channels (116) in each NDC (50) accumulate profiling data from the requests to access the dataset for which they have been claimed. The NDCs (50) use the accumulated profile data stored in channels (116) to anticipate future requests to access datasets, and, whenever possible, prevent any delay to client workstations in accessing data by asynchronously pre-fetching the data in advance of receiving a request from a client workstation.

The '914 patent contains two independent claims, 1 and 9, as follows:

1. In a network of digital computers that includes a plurality of Network Distributed Cache ("NDC") sites, each NDC site including an NDC that has an NDC buffer, a method for projecting an image of a stored dataset from an NDC server terminator site into an NDC client terminator site in response to a request to access such dataset transmitted from a client site to the NDC client terminator site, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) the NDC receiving the request to access data in the stored dataset;

(b) the NDC checking the NDC buffer at this NDC site to determine if a projected image of data requested from the dataset is already present there;

(c) if the NDC buffer of this NDC site does not contain a projected image of all data requested from the dataset, and if the NDC site receiving the request is not the NDC server terminator site for the dataset, the NDC of this NDC site transmitting a request for data from this NDC site downstream to another NDC site closer to the NDC server terminator site for the dataset than the present NDC site;

(d) if the NDC buffer of this NDC site does not contain a projected image of all data requested from the dataset, and if the NDC site receiving the request is the NDC server terminator site for the dataset, the NDC of this NDC site accessing the stored dataset to project an image of the requested data into its NDC buffer;

(e) repeating the steps (a) through (d) until the NDC buffer of the downstream NDC site receiving the request contains a projected image of all requested data;

(f) each successive NDC site, having obtained a projected image of all the requested data, returning data requested from it upstream to the NDC site from which it received the request until the requested data arrives at the NDC client terminator site; and

(g) the NDC client terminator site, upon receiving the requested data, returning the requested data to the client site.


9. A network of digital computers that includes a client site which requests access to a dataset that is stored at a location that can be accessed through the network, the network comprising:

a plurality of NDC sites, the dataset whose access is requested by the client site being stored at an NDC server terminator site, a request from the client site for access to the dataset being received by an NDC client terminator site, each NDC site including:

(a) an NDC that has an NDC buffer;

(b) means for the NDC to receive the request to access the dataset;

(c) means for the NDC to check the NDC buffer at this NDC site to determine if a projected image of data requested from the dataset is already present there wherein:

i. if the NDC buffer of this NDC site does not contain a projected image of all data requested from the dataset, and if this NDC site is not the NDC server terminator site for the dataset, the NDC including means for transmitting a request for data from this NDC site downstream to another NDC site closer to the NDC server terminator site for the dataset than the present NDC site;

ii. if the NDC buffer of this NDC site does not contain a projected image of all data requested from the dataset, and if this NDC site is the NDC server terminator site for the dataset, the NDC including means for accessing the dataset to project an image of the requested data into its NDC buffer; and

iii. if the NDC buffer of an NDC site contains a projected image of all requested data, the NDC including means for returning data requested from it upstream to the NDC site from which it received the request, whereby through a succession of such returns of data from one NDC site to the next upstream NDC site the requested data ultimately arrives at the NDC client terminator site; and

(d) data return means for returning the requested data from the NDC client terminator site to the client site.


Red Hat has not asked for our help, but this is an attack on Linux and merits our attention. Any suggestions of prior art are always appreciated. The priority date for the '914 patent is June 3, 1992, so any prior art must have been published prior to that date.

****************

Documents

Complaint

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE

MOSAID TECHNOLOGIES INC.,
Plaintiff,
ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC., ALCATEL-
LUCENT USA, INC., INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS MACHINES CORP., JUNIPER
NETWORKS, INC., NETAPP, INC., RED
HAT, INC., AND VMWARE, INC.
Defendants.

v. C.A. No.: ______________

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

Plaintiff MOSAID Technologies Inc. (“MOSAID”), by and through its undersigned counsel, for its Complaint for Patent Infringement against the above-named Defendants hereby states:

THE PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff MOSAID Technologies Inc. is a corporation subject to the laws of Canada with its principal place of business at 11 Hines Road, Suite 203, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2K 2X1. MOSAID’s principal place of business in the United States is located at 5700 Granite Parkway, Suite 960, Plano, Texas 75024.
  2. Defendant Adobe Systems, Inc. (“Adobe”) is a Delaware corporation. Adobe may be served through its registered agent, Corporation Service Company, 2711 Centerville Road, Suite 400, Wilmington, DE 19808. Adobe is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  3. Defendant Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc., (“Alcatel”) is a Delaware corporation. Alcatel-Lucent may be served via its registered agent, Corporation Service Company 2711 Centerville Road, Suite 400, Wilmington, DE 19808. Alcatel is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  4. Defendant International Business Machines Corp (“IBM”) is a Delaware corporation. IBM may be served via its registered agent, the Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. IBM is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  5. Defendant Juniper Networks, Inc. (“Juniper”) is a Delaware corporation. Juniper may be served via its registered agent, the Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Juniper is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  6. Defendant NetApp, Inc. (“NetApp”) is a Delaware corporation. NetApp may be served via its registered agent, the Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. NetApp is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district

    2

    by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  7. Defendant Red Hat, Inc. (“Red Hat”) is a Delaware corporation. Red Hat may be served via its registered agent, the Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Red Hat is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  8. Defendant VMware, Inc. (“VMware”) is a Delaware corporation. VMware may be served via its registered agent, the Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. VMware is authorized to do business in the State of Delaware, and regularly conducts such business within the State and within this judicial district by way of sales and distribution of its products and services, including those accused of infringement herein.
  9. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  10. This is an action for patent infringement arising under the provisions of the Patent Laws of the United States of America, Title 35, United States Code.
  11. Subject-matter jurisdiction over MOSAID’s claims is conferred upon this Court by 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question jurisdiction) and 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) (patent jurisdiction).
  12. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants because Defendants are subject to general jurisdiction in the State of Delaware. Defendants also have established minimum contacts with the forum. All Defendants are authorized to do business in the State of Delaware and regularly conduct such business. Defendants manufacture, sell and/or offer to

    3

    sell—products, including the products specified herein, that are and have been used, offered for sale, sold and/or purchased in Delaware, including in this judicial district. Defendants—directly and/or through their distribution networks——place their infringing software and computer products within the stream of commerce, which stream is directed at this district. Therefore, the exercise of personal jurisdiction over Defendants would not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
  13. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b) and (c) and §1400(b).
  14. COUNT I – INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,505,241

  15. MOSAID reasserts and incorporates herein by reference the allegations of all preceding paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
  16. On January 7, 2003, U.S. Patent No. 6,505,241 (the “‘241 Patent”), a copy of which is attached hereto as “Exhibit A,” was duly and legally issued by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). MOSAID is the owner by assignment of all right, title and interest in and to the ‘241 Patent, including all right to recover for any and all past infringement thereof.
  17. Upon information and belief, Defendants Adobe, Alcatel, IBM, Juniper, and NetApp have in the past and continue to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of others, one or more of the claims of the ‘241 Patent by making, using, importing, selling and/or offering to sell, in this judicial district and elsewhere in the United States, software which is covered by at least one claim of the ‘241 Patent.
  18. 4

  19. At a minimum, each of the following products made, used, sold and/or offered for sale by the above-referenced Defendants infringes one or more claims of the ‘241 Patent because each includes, among other things, a network infrastructure cache for providing proxy services to a plurality of workstations concurrently requesting access to data stored on a server, interconnect the client workstations and server by a network via which the client work stations transmit network-file-services-protocol requests to the server and having at least one network interface that connects to the network, a file-request service module for receiving via said network the network file services protocol requests transmitted by the client workstations, a cache from which said file request service module receives data, and a file request generation module for transmitting to the server requests for data received by the file request service module that is missing from said cache, and for receiving from the server network file services protocol responses that include data missing from said cache, and for transmitting such missing data to said cache for storage therein, and are therefore infringing one or more claims of the ‘241 Patent:
  20. a. Adobe Flash Memory Server;

    b. Alcatel Velocix Digital media Delivery Platform;

    c. IBM WebSphere Software;

    d. Juniper Media Flow;

    e. NetApp FlexCache;

    f. VMware vFabric GemFire Platform.

  21. As a consequence of the infringement of the ‘241 Patent by the aforesaid Defendants, MOSAID is entitled to recovery of past damages in the form of, at a minimum, a reasonable royalty.
  22. 5

  23. Upon information and belief, Defendants will continue to infringe the ‘241 Patent unless enjoined by this Court.
  24. As a consequence of the infringement by Defendants complained of herein, MOSAID has been irreparably damaged to an extent not yet determined and will continue to be irreparably damaged by such acts in the future unless Defendants are enjoined by this Court from committing further acts of infringement. In the event the Court determines that it will not enter injunctive relief, then it should require Defendants to pay damages for past infringement of the ‘241 Patent and royalties for their infringement of the ‘241 Patent on a going-forward basis.
  25. COUNT II – INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 5,892,914

  26. MOSAID reasserts and incorporates herein by reference the allegations of all preceding paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
  27. On April 6, 1999, U.S. Patent No. 5,892,914 (the “‘914 Patent”), a copy of which is attached hereto as “Exhibit B,” was duly and legally issued by the USPTO. MOSAID is the owner by assignment of all right, title and interest in and to the ‘914 Patent, including all right to recover for any and all past infringement thereof. The ‘241 Patent, and ‘914 Patent, are collectively referred to as the “Asserted Patents.”
  28. Upon information and belief, Defendant RedHat has in the past and continues to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of others, one or more of the claims of the ‘914 Patent by making and using in this judicial district and elsewhere in the United States, a caching method which infringes at least one claim of the ‘914 Patent. Importing, selling and/or offering to sell products and services which contribute to or induce the further making or using of said caching method by others with knowledge of the ‘914 Patent further infringes the ‘914 Patent.
  29. 6

  30. At a minimum, each of the following products made, sold and/or offered for sale by the Defendant RedHat perform for Red Hat, when used for their intended purposes, the process for projecting an image of a stored dataset from one network distributed cache site to another in response to a request to access such dataset from a client site, and the process consisting of the steps described in the ‘914 Patent, and are and are therefore infringing one or more claims of the '914 Patent:
  31. a. RedHat Enterprise Linux with Resilient Storage Add-On;

    b. RedHat Enterprise Server V6;

  32. RedHat performs the ‘914 Patent by using the methods described in one or more claims of the ‘914 Patent, and are therefore infringing one or more claims of the '914 Patent.
  33. As a consequence of the infringement by Defendant RedHat complained of herein, MOSAID is entitled to recovery of past damages in the form of, at a minimum, a reasonable royalty.
  34. Upon information and belief, Defendant RedHat will continue to infringe the ‘914 Patent unless enjoined by this Court.
  35. As a consequence of the infringement by Defendants complained of herein, MOSAID has been irreparably damaged to an extent not yet determined and will continue to be irreparably damaged by such acts in the future unless Defendants are enjoined by this Court from committing further acts of infringement. In the event the Court determines that it will not enter injunctive relief, then it should require Defendants to continue to pay royalties for their infringement on a going-forward basis.

7

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, MOSAID prays for entry of judgment and an order that:

(1) Defendants have infringed one or more of the claims of the Asserted Patents, either literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents;

(2) Defendants account for and pay to MOSAID all damages, assessment of interest, and costs of MOSAID caused by Defendants’ patent infringement;

(3) MOSAID be granted permanent injunctive relief pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283 enjoining Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, affiliates and those persons in active concert of participation with them from further acts of patent infringement of the Asserted Patents;

(4) In the event the Court determines that it will not enter injunctive relief, Defendants continue to pay royalties to MOSAID for its infringement of the Asserted Patents on a going-forward basis;

(5) Defendants account for and pay for increased damages for willful infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 284;

(6) Costs and attorney’s fees be awarded to MOSAID, as this is an exceptional case under 35 U.S.C. § 285; and

(7) MOSAID be granted such further and additional relief as the Court may deem just and proper under the circumstances.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

MOSAID demands trial by jury on all claims and issues so triable.

August 9, 2011

BAYARD, P.A.
/s/ Stephen B. Brauerman
Richard D. Kirk (rk0922)
Stephen B. Brauerman (sb4952)
222 Delaware Avenue, Suite 900
P.O. Box 25130
Wilmington, DE 19899

OF COUNSEL:

Steven G. Hill
Douglas R. Kertscher
HILL, KERTSCHER & WHARTON, LLP
3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 800
Atlanta, Georgia 30339

Attorneys for Plaintiff Mosaid Technologies Inc.

8


Exhibit A to the Complaint is not shown as it contains patent 6,505,241 which has not been asserted against Red Hat.

Exhibit B (Patent No. 5,892,914) (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)[PDF]


  


Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux | 198 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
CmdrTaco resigns from Slashdot
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:12 AM EDT
"After 14 years and over 15,000 stories posted, it's finally time for me to say Good-Bye to Slashdot", CmdrTaco

Where's the off topic header?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:15 AM EDT
thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Pick discussions
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:16 AM EDT
Thank you

[ Reply to This | # ]

COMES thread
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:17 AM EDT
Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic discussions
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:17 AM EDT
Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

To me, this sounds like the underpinnings of NFS, GFS, GPFS, Lustre, ...
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:27 AM EDT
To me, this sounds like the underpinnings of NFS, GFS, GPFS, Lustre, AFS, ...

And a number of other technologies that incorporate distributed buffering -
including web servers.

And most (NFS, GFS, GPFS, and AFS) had their start well before 1997.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: vonbrand on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:32 AM EDT

Isn't this what stuff like squid (web cache/proxy) have been doing for ages?

I'm not sure when FTP mirrors became widespread, but that also sounds very similar to the claims in the patent. I didn't participate in BBS, but AFAIU there certainly were caches of frequently requested information there. After that, the UUCP network managed caches of frequently requested information in the 80ies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

DNS, 1987
Authored by: scav on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:40 AM EDT
http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1034.html

It's not an exact fit (and it's hard to tell what the patent
actually means). But DNS does have a tree of domain name
servers with caching, and a mechanism for a client request to
be forwarded to another server to resolve a domain name that
is not cached.

Of course, it remains to be seen what part of Red Hat it is
that the trolls think infringes their patent.

---
The emperor, undaunted by overwhelming evidence that he had no clothes,
redoubled his siege of Antarctica to extort tribute from the penguins.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • DNS is a perfect match - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 12:43 PM EDT
  • DNS, 1987 - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:16 PM EDT
    • DNS, 1987 - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:46 PM EDT
    • GFS2? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 11:38 PM EDT
Squid Proxy and its development history come to mind
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:40 AM EDT
Did a small bit of historical spelunking on Squid.

Squid spawned from a DARPA project called Harvest. An outgrowth of the Harvest
project was SOIF (RFC2655) which cites as a reference "The Harvest
Information Discovery and Access System" which I found easily through a
quick search.

Bibliography item 8 is "Peter B. Danzig, Richard S. Hall and Michael F.
Schwartz. A Case for Caching File
Objects Inside Internetworks. Proceedings of the SIGCOMM ’93, pp. 239-248, San
Francisco, California, September 1993." and is again easily found.

Reference section contain items that might be of interest (would need someone
with more knowledge about these things than I) but the one which caught my eye
is

"[AB92] R. Alonso and M. Blaze. Dynamic hi-
erarchical caching for large-scale dis-
tributed file systems. Proceedings
of the Twelvth International Confer-
ence on Distributed Computing Sys-
tems, June 1992."

The references in the "A Case for Caching File
Objects Inside Internetworks" paper seem to me to look like they might bear
examination, as much of the paper was built on traffic modeling work and caching
work in across the Internet of the time.

While this paper issued in 1993, the sources from which it draws seem to mostly
be 1992 and earlier.

Bob

[ Reply to This | # ]

MOSAID Technologies a patent TROLL?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:47 AM EDT
"MOSAID is a Canadian company and a non-producing entity (yes, go ahead and call them a troll if you would like). Its sole business is to acquire and enforce patents, although it does claim to have developed some of its own patented inventions".

WiLAN Announces Intention to Make an All-Cash Takeover Offer for MOSAID Technologies, Aug 2011

Mosaid Technologies Inc. v. Adobe Systems Inc. et al, Aug 2011

ARM Ltd. v. MOSAID Technologies Inc. , Aug 2011

Mosaid Technologies, Inc. v. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA), Inc., et al, July 2011

"MOSAID Technologies Inc. (TSX: MSD) today announced that it has initiated wireless patent infringement litigation against the following companies: AsusTek Computer Inc.; Atheros Communications, Inc.; Canon U.S.A., Inc.; CSR plc; Dell, Inc.; Digi International Inc.; Huawei Technologies Co. .. The suit was filed on March 16, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division". link March 2011

"MOSAID Technologies Inc. (TSX:MSD) today announced that it has initiated patent infringement litigation against NVIDIA Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. and Interphase Corporation. The suit was filed on April 7, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division". link

MOSAID and Hynix Enter Into Patent License and Acquisition Agreements, May 2011

Mosaid Technologies Files Patent Infringement Complaint Against Cisco At ITC, May 2011

Mosaid sues IBM for patent infringement July 2009

[ Reply to This | # ]

Content Distribution Networks
Authored by: dcs on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 10:50 AM EDT
This is not prior art, as I do not think any CDN existed before 1992. However,
the independent claims are exactly how something like Akamai works.

As others stated, DNS seems a likely candidate for prior art.


---
Daniel C. Sobral

[ Reply to This | # ]

Symmetric multiprocessing?
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 10:59 AM EDT
While this patent explicitly described an NDC server and client, the principles themselves appear to apply to anything which use distributed computing, i.e. including SMP, but here on a different physical scale. Nanometers or meters...

How obvious wouldn't that be?


---
______
IMANAL


.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Published
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 11:13 AM EDT
"... so any prior art must have been published prior to that date." This always burns me up. Where does the CAFC get the right to deny the existence of anything that has not been published? The whole and sole purpose of such an unfair and irrational rule is to make it harder to invalidate patents that have been issued illegally. The whole thing is nothing put pro-patent CORRUPTION on the part of the CAFC and in a fair and just society all the judges would be impeached on that basis.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 11:14 AM EDT
In 2003 when this patent was issued, Websphere was already up to version 5. I'd
be surprised if this functionality wasn't in the product long before then.

Wouldn't it be funny if one of the products they're suing over turned out to be
the prior art that killed the patent?

In any case, sue IBM for patent infringement? Kiss this troll goodbye :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 11:44 AM EDT
I think Usenet and uucp might fit the patent description, as
well as DNS, NFS, Sun's YP/NIS, AFS, etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pump and Dump - Mosaid vs. WiLAN
Authored by: cassini2006 on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 11:53 AM EDT

I'm wondering if this is an effort to boost the stock price in order to block a hostile takeover by WiLAN.

Mosaid historically has been more interested in patent licensing revenues from hardware companies, rather then blatant software patent trolling practices. Some of its patents are critical to certain wireless and electronic systems, hence WiLANs interest in Mosaid.

However, if you announce that you are suing all of the bunch of big technology companies for billions of dollars in the middle of a hostile takeover, then it makes it appear as if WiLAN is trying to purchase Mosaid's stock on the cheap. This discourages Mosaid's shareholders from selling to WiLAN, and increases the asking price.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pre-fetching is old technology
Authored by: pythonista on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 12:04 PM EDT
"The NDCs (50) use the accumulated profile data stored in channels (116) to anticipate future requests to access datasets, and, whenever possible, prevent any delay to client workstations in accessing data by asynchronously pre-fetching the data in advance of receiving a request from a client workstation."
Read-ahead is an old technology. I am the author of Lightning, a disk cache from 1984 that would read the entire (floppy!) track when a single sector was requested so that subsequent sector reads would already be available in memory. It wasn't asynchronous, though. [Technical discussion omitted.] Whether the disk cache in memory can be equated to an NDC is for lawyers to decide.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Expire before it gets to court?
Authored by: shachar on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 12:20 PM EDT
Wouldn't this patent expire before the court even has a chance to discuss this?
Maybe not relevant for RedHat, but this means it's unlikely to be used against
any other Linux vendor/user.

Shachar

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thinking Machines Corporation
Authored by: eric76 on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 01:10 PM EDT
In the 1980s, Thinking Machines Corporation had a hypercube computer called The
Connection Machine.

I vaguely remember an article talking about the potential for using such a
computer for storing an enormous database where each processor with its own
local storage would have a portion of the database. Queries to the database
would have spread out to the processors until one had the required data.

Whenever the processors involved were not directly connected to the processor
requesting theinformation, the requests and the resulting data would be relayed
back through intermediate processors.

While this isn't a network, it seems to me that the generalization from this to
a network should be relatively obvious.

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Both of the independent claims are demonstrably invalid
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:01 PM EDT
Any online finacial news service (Reuters, Bloomberg, Thomson, Telerate) has
used these techniquest since the mid 1970's. Most on point Telerate had EXACTLY
those systems distributed prior to 1987. Telerate made an executive decision to
let those and related communications protocols lapse into the public domain
starting in 1984 (with their first publications starting in 1983).

I was awarded Water's Magazine's (the industry magazine for financial
information and technology) designation as one of "The twenty most
important people in Financial Technology in the 20th Century" for this and
other contributions to the industry.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • See RFC-793 - Authored by: Ehud on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:38 PM EDT
    • See RFC-793 - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 04:08 PM EDT
Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:14 PM EDT

A lot of distributed systems papers reference Michael O. Rabin (of string search fame) "Efficient dispersal of information for security, load balancing, and fault tolerance" from 1989.

I'd have to do a thorough re-read to try to connect points from the paper to the claims though.

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A Bit About Mosaid
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 02:32 PM EDT

Mosaid's main business has been in developing and licensing wireless and semi-conductor technologies. They develop chip designs (or elements) and license them to semi-conductor manufacturers. In that line of business, they've been no stranger to lawsuits, and they aren't alone as there are other companies who do more or less the same thing in that field.

They haven't been known for software however, Either they are branching out into new fields, or they have some incidental software patents which they have decided to take advantage of.

They are presently the subject of a hostile take-over bid by Wi-Lan, who I believe are in pretty much the same line of business. CBC: Patent firm Mosaid's shares jump on takeover bid. Both companies are located in Ottawa.

I wouldn't call either company a "patent troll" in terms of what their main line of business is. There are lots of companies in the semi-conductor business who develop designs and license them to others. A well known example is ARM, who design the CPUs used in virtually all cellular phones and tablets (and many other devices), but who don't produce the chips themselves.

On the other hand, the line between "a genuine inventor" and a "patent troll" is a fine one, and they may be doing a bit of trolling here. It's interesting that MOSAID had a board meeting scheduled for the 24th of August, and Wi-LAN's takeover bid was on the agenda. It's possible that MOSAID employees were told to paw through their drawers looking for patents they could be enforcing in order to bump up the share price to make the bid prohibitively expensive for Wi-Lan.

MOSAID are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the take-over bid from Wi-Lan is for $480-million, so they're not a small firm. This isn't your traditional "two lawyers in a tiny office" patent troll firm. Minor changes in patent rules which are intended to rein-in traditional patent trolls would be unlikely to affect companies like MOSAID. The only real solution to these types of suits would be to abolish software patents.

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Version control systems
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 05:50 PM EDT
A version control system would seem to do all of this. These started to be released in the early 90's based on work carried out in the 80's. Could be a useful place to look. For example this one . Actually I expect there is heaps of prior art. The idea of distributing information across the network is as old as the internet itself.

Perhaps Red Hat should talk to Google. They've just demonstrated themselves as masters of the patent search. Google would have an interest since they would also be in the crosshairs if this patent doesn't get clipped.

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Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 07:15 PM EDT
Its an interesting choice of companies to target.
Especially IBM and Lucent. Perhaps they are instead looking for a better
takeover bid ?

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So "database hot-replication"
Authored by: BitOBear on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 07:55 PM EDT
Oracle should be intervening to invalidate since every one of the oracle
products I have ever used has had distributed transactions and replication.
Granted I only go back to oracle seven in early nineties.

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Sure sounds like Fidonet to me...
Authored by: artp on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 08:52 PM EDT
Sure sounds like Fidonet to me. But then a lot of patents
sound like Fidonet to me. Maybe I'm getting old? Or Sysop's
Disease has finally caught up with me! ;-)

Messages (portions of a dataset, each uniquely identified)
are passed from one node to another, up the tree, and also
down the tree, until it has propagated to all the nodes in
the net.

I was a Wildcat! BBS sysop, and was part of PCBoard message
network and a couple of others, which were hierarchical
trees, but Fidonet was much more robust than PCboard IIRC,
and much more flexible.

---
Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

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Gopher, The great AT&T long distance crash of 1990 et al
Authored by: BitOBear on Thursday, August 25 2011 @ 09:26 PM EDT
This is a patent of "Gopher" (released in 1991) and then formalized in an 1993 RFC #1436. In particular the Gopher clients and relays in existence and use by the reference date are prior art.

===

On January 15, 1990 the AT&T long distance network suffered a cascade failure due to a software bug.

That bug was in the distributed stated and routing database software that let the 4ESS switches figure out how to route phone calls.

While the actual failure mechanism involved an over-aggressive response to the node start-stop messages caused by any system resetting, and led to other systems resetting themselves, the underlying database of available routes and open circuits matches, or anticipates, most if not all of the claims listed.

I don't have access to the actual 4ESS documentation, it is likely related.

Similarly in the 1980's I was using an AT&T product called the "ISN" (not ISDN, the signaling device, but ISN which was a rack of communication hardware). It's configuration and routing information was sent, queried, and updated across a network. It wasn't Ethernet, but it was a network of computers.

=== Additionally ===

The patent claims above _actually_ describe a "memory consistency model" but only the read portions thereof. Most of the documentation discusses the difficult "write consistency" problems. That is, "the read problem" is considered nearly beneath notice in the documentation of the age. The patent hides (or is ignorant of) the write domain issues by claiming a single central "god copy" of the data, which was, by then, an uninteresting proposition.

See this paper (1993) which may rely extensively on This 1990 paper which I cannot access for lack of necessary membership, and which has another link to a 1993 paper with far too many footnotes for me to vet, many of which are before the target date.

This is also the Publish/Subscribe (PubSub) model, you will find references on this page going back to 1987 at least. While the publication of single messages doesn't necessarily match, the publication of multiple messages in a data-set _do_ match.

The part that will be confusing to lawyers, but not technologists, is that the patent describes doing things rather poorly and vaguely (isn't that usually the case with software patents) to a degree that is misleading.

Even the old usenet group create and delete messages, and several query-esque messages implemented a progressive accumulation of state returned to the invoking agent.

===

The automatic accumulation of state is inherent in the Turing complete machine, the accumulation of state in response to a deep or complex query is no less obscure.

The use of the term "image" was creative (e.g. deliberately misleading), but in that usage, any file or data set is an "image".

The inclusion of an explicit single source is problematic if the argument is made that what is done to cache and aggregate multiple sources is suddenly rendered novel when applied to a single "server" source.

===

In terms of normal business (on-paper) thought, what is described is functionally identical to the act of composing a Corporate Balance Sheet or Statement of Accounts, where multiple "books" and balance sheets for accounts are consulted in various locations. Each provides a summary of the accounts it represents. An accountant produces the result. That result is then transmitted to a more central location where it is aggregated with similar results from other locations. Lather, rinse, repeat, and the final result is "an image" of the current financial state of the company. In this case the actual financial condition of the company is the "god copy"/server/origin of the aggregated and cached information.

More simply, go watch the movie Desk Set (1957) and watch what the women in the research department actually do. They get a call, they consult each other, they build up a correct result from their own knowledge (cache) and direct research in their library (is that source or cache material?), make calls to news organizations (source material), then present a single consistent result (image) to the requester. The plot of the movie is all about adding a computer as a stage in that research and aggregation process.

If a 1957 Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn movie about researching and aggregating data isn't "prior" or anticipatory enough, I don't know what is... 8-)

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Possible explanation for overly generic claims
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2011 @ 01:25 AM EDT

Looking at the patent application for U.S. Patent No. 5,892,914, it really seemed that something was missing from the claims. The application as a whole contained a lot of descriptive text that didn't seem to match up with any of the claims. The reason for this only becomes apparent when you read the note that is included within the published patent.

This is a division of application Ser. No. 08/343,477 filed Nov. 28, 1994, that issued Mar. 11, 1997, as U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,049, and that claimed priority under 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 371 from Patent Cooperation Treaty ("PCT") International Patent Application PCT/US92/04939 filed Jun. 3, 1992.

What does that mean? An explanation for a divisional patent application is given here:

The Divisional Patent or Divisional Application

Under U.S. Patent Law there is only one invention allowed per patent. One patent - one invention. That does not mean you can not claim multiple variations (embodiments) of that invention - but in the eyes of the examiner there should be only one inventive concept.

The USPTO examiner can issue a restriction requirement, which tells the applicant that if it appears that there are more than one inventive concepts in the application then they must be whittled down to just one. Other inventive concepts can be applied for as separate patent applications using a form called a divisional patent application.

A divisional patent application is straightforward. You simply submit the same specification and same drawings, but with a different set of claims. Yes - you do have to pay another filing fee because this is a new application. So you started our pursuing one patent and you could end up with two or more. And each of these maintains the priority date of the original submission.

So in essence what has happened here is that the original patent application appears to have been split up into two parts, with the '914 patent containing only some of the original claims but all of the rest of the original specification.

This helps explain why the claims of the '914 patent seem so generic on their own. For instance, claim 1 reads in part:

1. In a network of digital computers that includes a plurality of Network Distributed Cache ("NDC") sites, each NDC site including an NDC that has an NDC buffer, a method for projecting an image of a stored dataset from an NDC server terminator site into an NDC client terminator site in response to a request to access such dataset transmitted from a client site to the NDC client terminator site, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) the NDC receiving the request to access data in the stored dataset;

(b) the NDC checking the NDC buffer at this NDC site to determine if a projected image of data requested from the dataset is already present there;

...

Without knowing what an NDC is, the claims don't seem to describe anything particularly novel or innovative at the time. The only way to distinguish these claims from other existing ideas floating around at the time is to include knowledge contained in what was the other half of the original patent application that became U.S. Patent No. 5,611,049. That was where the concept of the NDC was originally disclosed.

Network Distributed Caches ("NDCs") (50) permit accessing a named dataset stored at an NDC server terminator site (22) in response to a request submitted to an NDC client terminator site (24) by a client workstation (42). In accessing the dataset, the NDCs (50) form a NDC data conduit (62) that provides an active virtual circuit ("AVC") from the NDC client site (24) through intermediate NDC sites (26B, 26A) to the NDC server site (22).

What this should mean is that the claims of the '914 patent have to be taken within the context of the '049 patent. Otherwise, the claims appear to be unreasonably overbroad. To show infringement, a plaintiff should have to show that the alleged infringement contained all elements of claim 1, for instance, including conforming with the characteristics of an NDC that were specified in the '049 patent that was the parent to the '914 patent.

Under the above theory, Red Hat should not be infringing on the '914 patent if their products don't also contain elements that correspond to the specific NDC claims associated with the given patent history. A conforming NDC cannot be just a simple plain cache. With that in mind, the '914 patent could be viewed as a real invention, but one with a limited scope when compared with existing practices.

That also means, however, that possible relevant prior art may also be limited to examples that show characteristics of the NDC as defined in the parent application as well. The setting up of "active virtual circuits" to establish pathways for distributed cached data to be identified, assembled, and possibly converted into different compatible protocols seems fundamental to the invention as claimed.

--bystander1313

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Prior art on the '381 patent - ISPF/PDF editor scroll behavior
Authored by: jthill on Friday, August 26 2011 @ 10:45 AM EDT
The patent covers so called 'rubber banding' where when you scroll to the bottom of a long list on a touch screen and you reach the end and the scrolling action doesn't just stop, instead it overshoots a little and bounces back. Anyone who has used an iOS device will know what I am talking about.
The PDF editor does this. I've missed this behavior enough that it's a constant ache, a disappointment with every other editor. I think everything else fills the screen on a scroll to the end of the data, wrecking the predictability so you can't rely on where to look for what follows what you'd already read. The PDF editor when scrolling to the last page displays what you haven't read in the same place as for all the other pages, pretty much always displaying a partial page on the last scroll down, and if you scroll down again it "bounces back" and actually scrolls up to fill the page. This works beautifully. Apple certainly understands touches like that. I no longer remember when that showed up, but it was certainly true by the late '80s.

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  • So, - Authored by: Ian Al on Saturday, August 27 2011 @ 03:01 AM EDT
Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 27 2011 @ 07:02 PM EDT
When I read this the system that came to mind was early AOL when AOL
was first integrated with the rest of the Internet.

AOL had servers that cached of information that was near their users, and
then tried to satisfy all requests from those caches. To speed up access
to the Internet I seem to remember that they did some predictive loading
of their caches with the pages they thought their users would go next.

From what I read of the patent this predictive preloading of the data is
what separates it from many other simple caching systems.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Time, clocks, and the ordering of events in a distributed system
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 28 2011 @ 10:27 PM EDT
The '914 patent may be anticipated by a classic paper:
Leslie Lamport, "Time, clocks, and the ordering of events in a
distributed system", CACM 21(7) (July 1978).

At least to me, the particular case of reaching a consistent
state of a distributed cache is evident in Lamport's analysis
of the general case.

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trickle
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 29 2011 @ 05:01 AM EDT
Good luck for these patent trolls!

It speaks hugely of them as computer-illiterate lawyerish trolls that they bring
this up. Against IBM.

This technology has been widely described in the literature and used all over
the place. This was the method used by the TRICKLE file distribution system of
BITNET times which did run on IBM machines, it has been described in
Tannenbaum's classic "Distributed Operating Systems", in countless
papers on distributed memory, distributed caches, clusters, hardware, etc...
Heck, I bet if you look at the code, CDC would likely already have used it in
the 60's.

What I find disgusting is that any country (like USA) would perpetuate and
promote such a broken system after so many demonstrations of its pitfalls and
abuse.

It's not that I do not understand it happening, I do, it helps some very
specific areas of the economy, but it is disgusting in that it only helps drones
and hinders development, the very things the patent system was supposedly
designed to fight.

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Mosaid v. Red Hat - A new patent infringement complaint aimed at Linux
Authored by: jsusanka on Monday, August 29 2011 @ 03:50 PM EDT
sounds like something ldap and
energy management digital controllers have been doing for years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

But does MOSAID use Red Hat software?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 07:39 PM EDT
MOSAID is not your typical patent troll.

At one time (way back when I used to work for them) they actually did real
engineering (full custom semiconductor design and layout). At that time they
used PA-RISC workstations running HP-UX and were just starting to roll out
Solaris.

Nowadays chip designers tend to use x86-64 workstations for this type of work,
typically running RHEL.

Some software licenses have an anti-patent clause, which terminates a license if
a licensee sues the vendor for patent infringement.

I haven't read the RHEL license recently, and I don't know how much engineering
MOSAID does today, and what platform they use if they do, but it does make one
wonder...

[ Reply to This | # ]

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