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Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 10:20 PM EDT

Oh, joy, another stupid, bullying patent troll lawsuit trying to crush Android. There simply aren't enough of those already.

This one is brought by Intellectual Ventures against Motorola in Florida. Here's the complaint [PDF]. They are already suing Motorola in Delaware. Why not just add them to the Delaware case, if it needs shoring up? Maybe because this way, they get two tries at the golden ring on this merry-go-round, and if Google tries to consolidate the cases, they have to pay lawyers for that extra work, and if the effort fails, they have to pay two teams of lawyers to go to two different states to protect Motorola. Lawyers do know how to be annoying if they want to be. If the goal is to sue someone, like Google, let's just say, until they scream Uncle and pay up, they might just do so. Not that Google ever does. It has a fabulous record of success in patent defense, and they have done it repeatedly even without counterclaims, so in that sense, part of the benefit expected from using a troll to go after Google is probably lost.

And you will not believe the seven patents that are being used this time. One is for linking urls in an email. Yes. Really. Ever do that? Did you know you should be paying IV because the USPTO gave it ownership of that functionality? Actually it's less direct and IV keeps it a little bit murky, but I'll show you the details.

I want the USPTO to explain how this is even possible, that a patent could ever have issued on something like that.

And guess where IV got these patents? Not *directly* from the USPTO. I'll give you a big hint. Some of them, from what I'm seeing, are from working companies. Don't they call that privateering, when active companies outsource their patents to trolls to do their dirty work? Why yes. Yes, they do.

Can you guess one company in this picture? Someone helping Microsoft in its anticompetitive attack on Android and Linux, you say? Yes, one of the companies that seems to have transferred two patents to IV for its holy quest is Nokia, Microsoft's 'partner in crime', as I like to think of them.

I know. You are shocked, shocked to know that patents are being used anticompetitively in a court of law.

Jump To Comments

Here's the assignment document on one of the Nokia patents, #US 6,170,073. IV doesn't mention that in the complaint, of course. It talks about struggling individual inventors that IV collects and tries to get money for, as I'll show you. Why wouldn't Nokia just sue directly? Other than because it'd get sued back, I mean? Ask them. Maybe because IV is asserting against Android some standard essential patents on things like WiFi, 3G, and 4G LTE. Did they negotiate with Motorola before suing? I mean, that's the process when standards are involved. The parties are supposed to meet and work out a fair price. I know. How quaint of me. I'll let the complaint answer, with a typical paragraph:
65. Intellectual Ventures II has provided written notice via a letter dated June 18, 2013 from counsel for Intellectual Ventures II to Renny Hwang and Brett Roesslein advising Motorola Mobility of its infringement of at least claims 1 and 21, and Motorola Mobility also has written notice of its infringement by virtue of the filing and service of this Complaint.
They sent a letter. The day before filing the lawsuit.

Where are the regulators? Come out, come out wherever you are. In fairness, the FTC is reportedly considering investigating IV and other such trolls, and Google and Red Hat and others have asked them and the DOJ to look at active companies outsourcing litigation to trolls this way. Here you go, Exhibit A.

[ Update 2: I just remembered something. Here's one worry Google and Red Hat expressed about outsourcing FRAND patents:

Operating companies and PAEs may engage in joint ex post exploitation. Certain transfers from operating companies to PAEs threaten to evade FRAND commitments even when, consistent with In re N-Data, the PAE agrees to honor a specific FRAND commitment made by the transferor. In particular, in some industries, operating companies that have made specific commitments to avoid royalty stacking may, in tandem with PAEs, be evading those commitments. The result, as with other transfers to PAEs, is to “raise prices and decrease incentives to innovate.”...

Similarly, commitments to royalty caps or FRAND licensing secured by certain industry participants from rights holders (whether through formal standard setting, unilateral commitments by patent holders, or otherwise) can mitigate royalty stacking concerns. Such assurances work to keep royalties reasonable once firms have adopted standardized technologies. One type of assurance is a “no stacking” pledge. Often this takes the form of a commitment by a rights holder not to seek more than a specific royalty level from implementers of particular standards no matter how many patents the rights holder possesses and no matter how many standards an implementer uses.

“No stacking” commitments are common in some industries. A concrete example of such a pledge is one made by Nokia. To induce adoption of its proposed LTE standard, Nokia committed not to seek more than a 2.0% royalty for all of its patents “essential to wireless communication standards irrespective of the number of wireless standards deployed” and denominated this pledge a “no royalty stacking” commitment. Nokia’s commitment – and similar commitments of other cellular SEP holders – played a critical role in inducing the telecommunications industry to adopt its proposed LTE standard as a 4G cellular communications standard. SSOs facilitate “no stacking” commitments. The IEEE, for instance, permits firms with likely essential patents to commit to not-to-exceed license fees.

Transferors can attempt to circumvent these no royalty stacking commitments by outsourcing the enforcement of patents to PAEs.

And here is IV, going after Android with a couple of Nokia patents, one of them for LTE. I left off the footnotes, but you can read the entire filing, if you are interested. - End Update 2.]

Here are some of the laughable claims in US patent #5790793, which I've truncated for space, but trust me, every bit of it is on this same level of stupid (and mean):

Claims

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A method of communicating between computers, comprising the steps of: creating a message at a first computer, said message including a reference to a predetermined location;

transmitting, by the first computer, said message to a second location; and receiving said message by a computer at the second location; decoding said message by the computer at the second location by retrieving data from the predetermined location, automatically by a single application, without requiring user interaction, into the computer at the second location.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein:
said step of creating a message creates the message using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML); and

said step of decoding said message decodes the message using an HTML viewer.

3. A method according to claim 1, wherein:
said step of creating a message creates the message without using a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML); and

said step of decoding said message includes:

decoding the message by translating the message to the HTML; and

displaying, using a HTML viewer, said message which has been translated to the HTML.

4. A method according to claim 1, wherein:
said reference to a predetermined location is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and said step of creating creates the message without including data corresponding to the predetermined resource referenced by the URL.
5. A method according to claim 4, wherein said decoding step automatically retrieves the data from the predetermined location when a user decodes the message without the user requesting the retrieval of the data corresponding to the URL.

6. A method according to claim 1, wherein said transmitting step transmits the message over an Internet connection.

7. A method according to claim 1, wherein said step of creating creates the message so that the reference to a predetermined location corresponds to at least one of company information, a catalog, new product information, a manual, a correction to the manual, an order, complaint information, and a questionnaire.

8. A method according to claim 1, wherein said decoding includes displaying the message and the data from the predetermined location without running an application other than said single application and without running a separate translation program.

9. A method according to claim 1, wherein said step of creating a message creates said message to be an electronic mail message and said transmitting steps transmits said message over the Internet.

See? Pure magic, no? Sending an email with a url in it that the receiver sees displayed? This claim would be infringed with sending email in HTML format if you include an IMG tag with a URL to the image. The email client will download the image and incorporate it in the mail according to the HTML.

So you could infringe on this patent by writing and reading email in HTML format when the image is found via a URL instead of attaching the image file. But this is all part of the HTML standard. This patent reads on standard use of HTML as provided by the standard. URLs are meant to be followed by programs to display information. That's what they have been created for. The "invention" is that an email client does it automatically instead of typing the URL in a web browser. Not over the *Internet*? What genius could invent such a marvelous, nonobvious function? Wow.

[ Update: A reader provides an example:

From: joe-blogs@example.com
To: moe-scroggs@elsewhere.com
Subject: widget
Body: Here's a pic of that widget [PJ: But with a link to click on, like href="http://www.companyname.com/gp/ r.html?-great-long-hex-coded-path-to_item_image]
Sig: joe

If moe's mail client is set to plain-text he's OK.

If his mail client automagically displays the pic he infringes.

End Update.]

And they don't want Motorola to be able to do that unless they pay Intellectual Ventures. Yup. That's the plan. Everybody wants Google's money, I've observed.

You know what it means? It means if you ever do that -- and you do every day of your life, I'm guessing -- you evildoers are infringing IV's Sooper Sakred Most Holy Intellectual Property.

Remember when the last head of the USPTO gave a swan song speech as he was leaving about how patent critics should give it a rest already? I dare him to show his face now. Do, come here and defend this patent. I double dog dare you.

And I most sincerely want to thank Microsoft, Nokia, and Intellectual Ventures for helping the public to understand just how stupid US patent law has become. It's transforming the public's view, and over time that will transform the law. Even the President is mad at patent trolls now. Meanwhile, raise your hand if you think this is despicable. Do you see why he wants to do something about it?

I know. IV claims it does such things so it can help inventors who can't afford to litigate their claims, their wonderful inventions cooked up in their little genius garages. Here's how IV describes itself as a Knight of the Round Table rescuing poor inventors who need them to save their opportunity to sue:

INTELLECTUAL VENTURES AND THE PATENTS-IN-SUIT

7. Intellectual Ventures Management, LLC (“Intellectual Ventures”) was founded in 2000. Since its founding, Intellectual Ventures has been deeply involved in the business of invention. Intellectual Ventures creates inventions and files patent applications for those inventions; collaborates with others to develop and patent inventions; and acquires and licenses patents from individual inventors, universities and other institutions. A significant aspect of Intellectual Ventures' business is managing the Plaintiffs in this case, Intellectual Ventures I and Intellectual Ventures II.

8. Intellectual Ventures' business includes purchasing important inventions from individual inventors and institutions and then licensing the inventions to those who need them. Through this business, Intellectual Ventures allows inventors to reap a financial reward from their innovations, which is frequently difficult for individual inventors to do. To date, Intellectual Ventures has acquired more than 70,000 IP assets and, in the process, has paid individual inventors hundreds of millions of dollars for their inventions. Intellectual Ventures, in turn, has earned more than $3 billion by licensing these patents to some of the world's most innovative and successful technology companies who continue to use them to make computer equipment, software, semiconductor devices, and a host of other products.

9. Intellectual Ventures also creates inventions. Intellectual Ventures has a staff of scientists and engineers who develop ideas in a broad range of fields, including agriculture, computer hardware, life sciences, medical devices, semiconductors, and software. Intellectual Ventures has invested millions of dollars developing such ideas and has filed hundreds of patent applications on its inventions every year, making it one of the top patent filers in the world. Intellectual Ventures has also invested in laboratory facilities to assist with the development and testing of new ideas.

10. Intellectual Ventures also creates inventions by collaborating with inventors and research institutions around the world. For example, Intellectual Ventures has developed inventions by selecting a technical challenge, requesting proposals for inventions to solve the challenge from inventors and institutions, selecting the most promising ideas, rewarding the inventors and institutions for their contributions, and filing patent applications on the ideas. Intellectual Ventures has invested millions of dollars in this way and has created a network of more than 4,000 inventors worldwide.

11. On August 4, 1998, U.S. Patent No. 5,790,793 (“the ’793 Patent”), titled “Method and System To Create, Transmit, Receive and Process Information, Including An Address To Further Information,” was duly and lawfully issued by the United States patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”). A copy of the ’793 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit A.

12. Intellectual Ventures I is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’793 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

13. On November 14, 2006, U. S. Patent No. 7,136,392 (“the ’392 Patent”), titled “System and Method For Ordering Data Messages Having Differing Levels of Priority For Transmission Over A Shared Communication Channel,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’392 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.

14. Intellectual Ventures I is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’392 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

15. On September 19, 2000, U.S. Patent No. 6,121,960, (“the ’960 Patent”), titled “Touch Screen Systems and Methods,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’960 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit C.

16. Intellectual Ventures II is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’960 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

17. On June 3, 2008, U.S. Patent No. 7,382,771 (“the ’771 Patent”), titled “Mobile Wireless Hotspot System,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’771 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit D.

18. Intellectual Ventures II is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’771 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

19. On July 21, 2009, U.S. Patent No. 7,564,784 (“the ’784 Patent”), titled “Method and Arrangement For Transferring Information In A Packet Radio Service,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’784 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit E.

20. Intellectual Ventures I is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’784 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

21. On January 2, 2001, U.S. Patent No. 6,170,073 (“the ’073 Patent”), titled “Method And Apparatus For Error Detection In Digital Communications,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’073 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit F.

22. Intellectual Ventures I is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’073 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

23. On December 7, 2010, U.S. Patent No. 7,848,353 (“the ’353 Patent”), titled “Method, Communication System And Communication Unit For Synchronisation For Multi-Rate Communication,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’353 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit G.

24. Intellectual Ventures II is the owner and assignee of all right, title and interest in and to the ’353 Patent and holds the right to sue and recover damages for infringement thereof, including past damages.

Would you imagine, reading that tale, that IV was talking about operating companies like Nokia? I mean, Nokia can afford to sue. It's surely doing so as we speak. What a phony story, under the circumstances. The Essential Patent Blog adds:
It should come as no surprise to those familiar with Intellectual Ventures that IV was not the original assignee of the patents-in-suit — these patents have been assigned to IV over the years, with former owners of the patents including Nokia, Spyder Navigations (who, according to this site, is a Nokia-related “privateer” that was managed by IV), Ninety Portals, IPWireless, Inc., Intersil, Conexant, In Motion Technology, and Infologix, among others.
Some Knight in Shining Armor.

Oh, you may be an infringer without realizing it. For example, note this claim from the complaint:

62. Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Motorola Mobility has directly infringed and continues to directly infringe, literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents, at least claims 1 and 21 of the ’353 Patent by making, using, selling, offering to sell and/or importing products compliant with and/or implementing the LTE standard, including but not limited to the Photon Q 4G LTE, Atrix HD and Electrify M.

63. Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Motorola Mobility also has and continues to indirectly infringe at least claims 1 and 21 of the ’353 Patent by inducing others to infringe and/or contributing to the infringement of others, including third party users of such products in this judicial district and elsewhere in the United States. Specifically, Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Motorola Mobility has actively induced and continues to induce the infringement of at least claims 1 and 21 of the ’353 Patent at least by actively inducing the infringing use of such products in the United States. Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Motorola Mobility knew or should have known that its conduct would induce others to use its LTE standard compliant products in a manner that infringes the ’353 Patent. Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that these third parties have infringed and will infringe the ’353 Patent in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) by using the infringing products. Intellectual Ventures II is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Motorola Mobility through at least its website at https://www.motorola.com, its online user manuals, marketing materials and help materials actively induced its customers to infringe the ’353 Patent.

You dirty infringers, you. How dare you buy a Motorola phone without crossing IV's palm with your silver. Actually, this patent doesn't deserve my curved lip, let alone money.

But Motorola will have to spend money to defend itself. And that's what this ugly dance is really all about. You know how I know? Because Microsoft mouthpiece Florian Mueller says so on FOSSPatents:1

Intellectual Ventures ("IV"), the world's largest non-practicing entity, is not going to let Google's Motorola Mobility off the hook anytime soon unless it pays license fees on all of its Android-based devices.
Woah. That's letting the cat out of the bag. Just like SCO, Microsoft wants FOSS to cost more, so they can compete against it with a ball and chain attached to Android's leg. So it and its helpers sue and sue and sue to try to force Google to pay. That way, Android won't be free any more, and you will have to pay more for an Android phone, if you law-breakers still want one. Is that what patents are for? Even Mueller isn't pretending this is about protecting intellectual property, is he? It's about forcing Google to pay royalties, as an anticompetitive move. That's how I view it.

IV is, of course, run by an ex-Microsoft guy. And Microsoft, last I looked, had invested in IV. Regulators, where are you? Seriously. When are you going to put a stop to this evil plot?

Meanwhile, we should seriously look for prior art, I'm thinking. If you know of any, either leave a comment or email me.

Here are all the patents, with links, and showing what the patents are for, and when they were assigned and by whom, and when they issued, so you can compute the date prior art would have to beat:

Patent Filing date Tech accused Originating company
* = appears to be still operating
Assignment record
US 5,790,793 April 4,
1995
MMS NetDelivery http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=5790793
US 7,136,392 August 31,
2001
WiFi Conexant* http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=7136392
US 6,121,960 August 28,
1997
Android
touchscreen
ViA, Inc. http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=6121960
US 7,382,771 March 13,
2003
Hotspot In Motion* http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=7382771
US 7,564,784 October 31,
2003
GPRS,
3GPP GRPS
Nokia* http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=7564784
US 6,170,073 March 21,
1997
3GPP,
4G LTE
Nokia* http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/ q?db=pat&pat=6170073
US 7,848,353 February 19,
2008
LTE IP Wireless
(now General Dynamic
Broadband)*
http://assignments.uspto.gov/ assignments/q?db=pat&pat=7848353

I guess you saw that Microsoft and Nokia were in talks about Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business, with some offshore money so as to avoid paying US taxes, those patriots, but the deal allegedly fell through. So Nokia gets to keep helping and helping, and for what?

Update 3: OMG. Look at this in the New York Times:

The chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission is expected on Thursday to recommend a sweeping investigation of “patent trolls,” companies that buy large portfolios of technology patents and use them to sue software designers and makers of products like smartphones and tablet computers, people briefed on the inquiry said....

If approved, which is likely, the F.T.C. investigation will require patent-assertion companies to answer questions about how they conduct their operations, including whether they coordinate their lawsuits with other patent holders and if they funnel proceeds from lawsuits and patent licenses back to the original patent owner.

Do the trolls have to tell the truth?

: )

Kidding. They'll be sending them subpoenas:

Ms. Ramirez is expected to recommend what is known as a 6(b) study, after the authorizing section of the Federal Trade Commission Act. This type of inquiry does not always have a specific law enforcement purpose but can gather information for use by Congress, the courts or executive agencies in dealing with an issue.

But those studies can also produce information that results in an antitrust lawsuit.

Oh, my. This could be huge. [swoons]

__________
1 http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/06/intellectual-ventures-files-second.html


  


Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs | 343 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
corrections thread
Authored by: designerfx on Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 10:40 PM EDT
post corrections here

[ Reply to This | # ]

newspicks thread
Authored by: designerfx on Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 10:54 PM EDT
newspicks posts here

[ Reply to This | # ]

off topic thread
Authored by: designerfx on Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 10:55 PM EDT
off topic discussion here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mueller
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:32 PM EDT
The trouble with having a paid shill like this, and having meetings/directing
him without him being a paid employee, is sometimes he goes too far and, as
shown here, reveals too much.
I'm sure there's been a few of his posts he eagerly sends to his customers 'hey!
see? look what I said about them!' and they reply 'why are you mentioning us as
well you fool! we pay you to be /independent/ from us, not paid PR revealing our
plans! that meeting was supposed to be secret, now you've exposed our strategy'

running a site called 'Antifosspatents.com' and saying the exact opposite of
whatever he spouts would be more accurate on what's going on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Whew!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 12:07 AM EDT
All these years I've been avoiding infringement of '793.
5. A method according to claim 4, wherein said decoding step does not automatically retrieve the data from the predetermined location when a user decodes the message because the user forbids the retrieval of the data corresponding to the URL.
It used to be the default in most mail clients I have used that remote images and resources were not automatically downloaded. My present client has the box for downloading unchecked, but it's so long ago that I set it I can't remember what the OTB default was.

I doubt this behaviour was deliberate evasion, like the projects that download libdcss and libx264 from the make script.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 02:02 AM EDT
> There simply aren't enough of those already.

Hopefully they are still not!

> Knight of the Round Table rescuing poor inventors who need them to save

The poor M$ and nokia that are going to die if nobody is sponsoring their faulty
products.

But really I hope there is some way to counter sue nokia and M$ for their
anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices.. can't consumers unite and sue
these bastards?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 02:15 AM EDT
Do the trolls have to tell the truth?

: )

I know you know the answer to your question. I've always wanted an answer to this question below .

All the CEO's below lied to Congress  under oath. The companies if I recall properly paid huge fines but why weren't the CEO's personally punished?

"Publicly the industry has maintained that nicotine is not addictive – culminating in Congressional hearings in 1994 when seven Chief Executive Officers of American tobacco
companies all testified that nicotine is not addictive. The industry has always said publicly that nicotine was important for taste or flavour – not addiction"

http://www.who.i nt/tobacco/media/en/TobaccoExplained.pdf



[Tobacco company CEOs declare, under oath, that nicotine is not addictive]

REP. RON WYDEN: Let me begin my questioning on whether or not nicotine is addictive. Let me ask you first, and I'd like to just go down the row, whether each of you believes that nicotine is not addictive. I heard virtually all of you touch on it. Yes or no, do you believe nicotine is not addictive?

MR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL
I believe nicotine is not addictive, yes.

REP. RON WYDEN: Mr. Johnston?

MR. JAMES JOHNSTON
Mr. Congressman, cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definition of addiction. There is no intoxication.

REP. RON WYDEN: We'll take that as a "no." Again, time is short. I think that each of you believe that nicotine is not addictive. We would just like to have this for the record.

MR. JOSEPH TADDEO
I don't believe that nicotine or our products are addictive.

MR. ANDREW TISCH
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. EDWARD HORRIGAN
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. THOMAS SANDEFUR
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
MR. DONALD JOHNSTON
And I, too, believe that nicotine is not addictive.
http://senate. ucsf.edu/tobacco/executives1994congress.html

"In the late nineties, as many internal documents showing that cigarettes are addictive reach the public domain, the companies have responded by trying to fudge and change the
definition of addiction - which they now apply to such activities as shopping or the Internet. In 1997, Liggett broke ranks and became the first company to admit that “smoking is addictive”. Many companies still openly deny that nicotine is addictive"

http://www.who.i nt/tobacco/media/en/TobaccoExplained.pdf

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pior Art For Linking URLs in an Email
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 02:36 AM EDT
If my memory serves me, Eudora and
Netscape Navigator were doing this back
around 1996. In 1998 email clients started
to include an option to not automatically
pull down remote URLs as people were doing
the tracking images.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Glad this is patented , maybe it will rein in the lusers
Authored by: kuroshima on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 04:37 AM EDT
I am glad that this functionality is patented. Maybe is people
need to pay for it, we will see them stop using it, as it is
both UNSAFE and an INVASION OF PRIVACY.

Anyone remembers the time when Outlook would execute code
linked/embedded in HTML emails on reception, so you didn't
even have to open the email or click anywhere, you received
the email and blam, computer compromised! Nowadays things
aren't that bad, and I never used Outlook, so I was never
affected (I transitioned from Netscape Mail to Mozilla Mail to
Thunderbird), but I had to repair way too many computers
infected by Outlook leaving the door wide open. Nowadays, the
issue is phishing, and the problem is that it's hard to
separate the good guys from the ones wishing to scam you,
because even the good guys outsource such things to external
agencies that cache and handle the unique tracking ids for
whatever add campaign that the email is part of, so simply
inspecting the links does not serve to identify a phishing
attempt (mind you, most people here will simply consider such
things akin to phishing and simply discard the email, but for
the average luser, what results is that they aren't trained in
proper security procedures).

This brings me back to the second point, privacy invasion.
From the 1px transparent gifs with unique tracking IDs added
as url parameters to images/embedded objects with part of the
url containing hex/base64 encoded tracking info, allowing
people to know if you opened the email and whatever more the
mail client leaks (from IP, to program version, to OS, to much
more sensitive data).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not just email -- Also describes Web IMO
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 06:44 AM EDT
Although one of the patents talks about electronic mail messages in its Abstract, the claim quoted by PJ just says 'message'
1. A method of communicating between computers, comprising the steps of: creating a message at a first computer, said message including a reference to a predetermined location; transmitting, by the first computer, said message to a second location; and receiving said message by a computer at the second location; decoding said message by the computer at the second location by retrieving data from the predetermined location, automatically by a single application, without requiring user interaction, into the computer at the second location.
How is 'message' defined for the claims in the patent? Unless specifically restricted to 'mail', it seems to me that this claim doesn't just describe the process of sending an email with an external link, it also describes a web page that loads an external image.

E.g.

(a) "creating a message at a first computer, inc. ref. to another location" --> create web page with <img> tag referencing an external image (e.g. an advert).

(b) "transmitting, by the first computer, said message to a second location;" --> browser in second location requests page from 1st location, message data sent over HTTP link.

(c) "decoding said message by the computer at the second location by retrieving data from the predetermined location, automatically by a single application, without requiring user interaction, into the computer at the second location." --> browser decodes HTML with <img> tag, and then makes automatic request for the image from the other location, and integrates it into the page it's displaying.

This happens in people's browsers all the time.

HTTP has been around since well before 1997 (1990 is mentioned in Abstract of the RFC), and HTML 2.0 has been around since before 1995 (See the wikipe dia page)

Cheers, Tim.

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Are any of these NOT software patents?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 07:32 AM EDT
I didn't look too closely, but the 353 sounds like a pure algorithm patent.
Do any of these patents have any physical elements besides sensors that
are part of the supposedly claimed "invention"?

Maybe IV is trying to use these up for some harassment value before they
get invalidated?

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Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: JamesK on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 08:31 AM EDT
{
One is for linking urls in an email.
}

I have been doing that since the mid 90s. I also recall it being in Lotus Notes
and Personal Communications, back in the late '90s, when I worked at IBM. How
does Intellectual Vultures get to claim something like that?

---
The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

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Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 09:16 AM EDT
How many years is a patent good for? The first one is April 95, over 18
years ago. If one infringes, then any browser email system uses it. Has
everyone else paid for the invention?

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Financial Incentive to Invalidate
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 11:18 AM EDT
What if the courts could order treble costs against the loser of a patent
enforcement if the patent is invalidated? This would add a financial incentive
for law firms to participate in the defence of the bad patents, and not leave
the costs totally up to the 'alleged infringers'.

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Take a breath please
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 12:05 PM EDT
"And you will not believe the seven patents that are being used this time.
One is for linking urls in an email. Yes. Really. Ever do that? Did you know you
should be paying IV because the USPTO gave it ownership of that functionality?
Actually it's less direct and IV keeps it a little bit murky, but I'll show you
the details."

The patent is not for "linking URLs" in an email.

The claim you are referring to is for automatically displaying a web page in an
email without user interaction.

That's a bit more specific, now isn't it.

This is 2013. We have all received spam with such links in it and if we have
our email set to "display images" for the sender, then yes, we have
all used software that infringes this claim. But that doesn't mean that this
was known or obvious in April of 1995, which is the priority date of the
application.

Did we all do this before April '95? I'm gonna guess not.

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Obvious combination
Authored by: tknarr on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 12:11 PM EDT

I think we may have a hard time coming up with direct prior art. The patent seems to date from around the time the first HTML support appeared in e-mail clients. But it might be easier to attack it as an obvious combination of pre-existing technologies (KSR v. Teleflex). MIME as a way to embed various types of documents in e-mail and then hand those documents off after decoding to other programs to display predates the priority date by a goodly amount. MIME for use in e-mail is explicitly mentioned in RFC1521 in 1993, and it's usage predates the RFC by a bit (it was hashed out thoroughly before being codified in an RFC). Browsers to display HTML content also predate the patent, and HTML as a MIME document type was officially codified in RFC1866 in November 1995 and was first described as a candidate for official registration back in 1992. From there, given the number of other document types that had had handlers associated with them already, adding an association between a browser and the "text/html" MIME document type so the existing mechanism for handling documents would display HTML content in e-mails would be a very obvious thing to do.

In fact, I believe that's very close to how Microsoft did HTML support in the first version of Outlook Express that supported it: when seeing HTML content in the message, embed an IBrowser COM object (Internet Explorer) in their reading panel and pass the HTML body to it to render.

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MS + IV + Nokia have hit an all-time low
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 12:58 PM EDT
I have nothing else to say. Everytime I think they've gone as far below as
possible, the troika of Microsoft+IV+Nokia keeps going lower...

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Pure coincidence, of course...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 03:41 PM EDT
That Nathan Myrvold (Intellectual Vultures) and Paul Allen (Interval Licensing)
are both former Microsofties (co-founders, no less) and both seem to sue M$
competitors but not M$...

Much like Elop, another former Microsoftie who can't seem to distance himself
from a former employer.

"Former" when applied to M$ may not mean what we've traditionally come
to expect.

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The most obvious prior Art reference
Authored by: celtic_hackr on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 04:35 PM EDT
INTERNET DRAFT Dave Raggett, W3C
Expires in six months email: <xxx@w3.org>

HyperText Markup Language Specification Version 3.0

<draft-ietf-html-specv3-00.txt>

...

"Dave Raggett
Page 3
HTML 3.0 28th March 1995

Introduction to HTML 3.0

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a simple markup system used to
create hypertext documents that are portable from one platform to
another. HTML documents are SGML documents with generic semantics
that are appropriate for representing information from a wide range
of applications. HTML markup can represent hypertext news, mail,
documentation, and hypermedia; menus of options; database query
results; simple structured documents with in-lined graphics; and
hypertext views of existing bodies of information. "


Especially note: "HTML markup can represent, hypertext news, mail
...".

I think it is especially noteworthy that "mail" is the second most
term for a use case of HTML. Hence composing an email in HTML and including URL
links MUST have been anticipated by March of 1995, a full month before the
filing of this application.

Thanks to Google for the "find prior art" button.

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FTC missing the point
Authored by: rocky on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 04:39 PM EDT
the F.T.C. investigation will require patent-assertion companies to answer questions about how they conduct their operations, including whether they coordinate their lawsuits with other patent holders and if they funnel proceeds from lawsuits and patent licenses back to the original patent owner.

Argh! Talk about missing the point and following a red herring. Of course they are going to truthfully say that they don't pay any money directly back to Microsoft or whoever. They don't care about getting a check from IV; that would mean nothing to them. They donate these patents, and the trolls get to keep whatever money they can manage to get, but the main benefit to the donors is that their competitors are HARMED. That is the only form of repayment they are looking for. Jeez. I just have this sinking feeling that the fact that they don't pay any money back to the patent donors is going to be wrongly interpreted by the FTC as innocence, because the donors "are not benefiting" from the trolls' actions. Sigh. I feel like hopes are about to be dashed, but maybe that's just my pessimism from seeing the bad guys get away with stuff for too long.

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Three Hats In The Ring For Nokia?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 07:46 PM EDT
Microsoft won't buy until they've whittled all the meat off the bones.
Google might buy if they get annoyed enough with the silly games,
but Google already has a mobile manufacturing division, Motorola.
Huawei could buy for the patents, but they only need them for
those markets where litigation is a problem, and the US govt has
already said Huawei is not welcome. Huawei could buy for the
manufacturing capacity, but they have little to zero experience
making stuff outside China. Nokia's distribution and sales channels
would be an attractive bargain for Huawei.

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RICO?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 10:39 PM EDT
The actions of Intellectual Ventures and many of the others strike me as
racketeering. A bunch of gangsters and thugs acting with impunity. I'd like to
see them investigated under RICO.

Tom Marchant

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  • RICO? - Authored by: mvs_tomm on Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 10:58 PM EDT
  • RICO? Moto/Google - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 23 2013 @ 01:23 AM EDT
Comes here
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Friday, June 21 2013 @ 12:31 AM EDT
Apparently, designerfx was distracted.

(don't put them here, wait so that PJ will see them)


---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

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The '392' Patent and IBM
Authored by: complex_number on Friday, June 21 2013 @ 12:40 AM EDT
You know, this one
13. On November 14, 2006, U. S. Patent No. 7,136,392 (“the ’392 Patent”), titled “System and Method For Ordering Data Messages Having Differing Levels of Priority For Transmission Over A Shared Communication Channel,” was duly and lawfully issued by the PTO. A copy of the ’392 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.

IBM will probably have a brief all ready for this one should IV ever decide to go after them on this. To my 'non-lawyer' eyes, this patent describes exactly the features used in the WebSphere MQ Communications channel. Messages can have different priorities and the channel can be shared by messages destined for different end users.

In my day job, I use this sort of thing all the time. Talk about obvious. Pah and I've been working with Queue Managers for more than 30 years in one shape or form. Heck, I seem to recall that even my undergrad college notes on Queuing Theory that date from 1974/75 mentioned priorities of messages in the queue.

If a communication channel is not in effect a queue then I really should hang up my coding sheet and retire.

IMHO, the likes of IV are a plague and needs to be eradicated ASAP.

---
Ubuntu & 'apt-get' are not the answer to Life, The Universe & Everything which is of course, "42" or is it 1.618?

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Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 21 2013 @ 02:33 AM EDT
We need to ban non-practicing entities by requiring that in order to sue for
patent infringement that you must be currently manufacturing a product using
said patent, or be manufacturing within 1 year. In the second case, all
judgements will be placed on hold for the duration of that year, and if no
product is being made at the end of that time the judgement is cast aside.

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NPR Patent Stories
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 21 2013 @ 03:00 PM EDT
NPR has done a number of pieces on patents, and has featured Intellectual Ventures on more than one occasion. One example:

W hen Patents Attack

In another story: How Carbonite, EMC Beat a Patent Troll Tied to Intellectual Ventures

Not even safe for a user of technology.

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Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement Again - One Patent Is For Linking URLs in an Email ~pj Updated 3Xs
Authored by: albert on Sunday, June 23 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT
The problem started with the USPTO and has to end there. They started issuing
bogo-patents (all s/w patents are bogus), and things went quickly downhill.

I'm not certain anything can be done to stop them. Most exist only to enrich
their lawyer staffs & 'investors'. Some, to kill competitors of certain
companies whose ties are obscure or well-hidden.

Remember, these folks are unethical, even criminal, but not stupid. (OK, forget
Prenda :)

I expect we'll see some window dressing, lip service, and rhetoric from our
InCongruous Critters to satisfy critics, but not enough to scare off their
funders.

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No, I am not shocked.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 23 2013 @ 06:27 PM EDT
There is no limit to corporate idiocy.
No limit to chauvinistic or governmental idiocy either.

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