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Company Claims Ownership of Digital Messaging

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the first-of-the-first! dept.

The Courts 325

An anonymous reader writes "Kootol, yet another patent troll, is going after everyone who makes messaging software for violating their soon-to-be-granted patent, which claims they invented one- and two-way messaging in 2005. From the article: 'Kootol, founded in 2010, says it has a patent license agreement with Yogesh Rathod for control of U.S. Patent Application 11/995,343. Rathod, in fact, is a co-founder of Kootol with his brother Vijay Rathod. According to Kootol, the patent application “covers core messaging, publication and real time searching technology.” Interestingly, the patent in question hasn’t actually been awarded to Kootol or Rathod yet. Rather, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “A Notice of Allowance.” That’s the term for when the USPTO says that an applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, but must pay an issue fee (and potentially publication fee) first, within three months.'"

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Law School Economics: Ka-Ching! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795268)

Charging higher tuition and spending more on teaching can lift a school's ranking, says John Duffy, who teaches at George Washington University Law School.

The basic rules of a market economy — even golden oldies, like a link between supply and demand — just don’t apply.

Legal diplomas have such allure that law schools have been able to jack up tuition four times faster than the soaring cost of college. And many law schools have added students to their incoming classes — a step that, for them, means almost pure profits — even during the worst recession in the legal profession’s history.

It is one of the academy’s open secrets: law schools toss off so much cash they are sometimes required to hand over as much as 30 percent of their revenue to universities, to subsidize less profitable fields.

In short, law schools have the power to raise prices and expand in ways that would make any company drool. And when a business has that power, it is apparently difficult to resist.

How difficult? For a sense, take a look at the strange case of New York Law School and its dean, Richard A. Matasar. For more than a decade, Mr. Matasar has been one of the legal academy’s most dogged and scolding critics, and he has repeatedly urged professors and fellow deans to rethink the basics of the law school business model and put the interests of students first.

“What I’ve said to people in giving talks like this in the past is, we should be ashamed of ourselves,” Mr. Matasar said at a 2009 meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. He ended with a challenge: If a law school can’t help its students achieve their goals, “we should shut the damn place down.”

Given his scathing critiques, you might expect that during Mr. Matasar’s 11 years as dean, he has reshaped New York Law School to conform with his reformist agenda. But he hasn’t. Instead, the school seems to be benefitting from many of legal education’s assorted perversities.

N.Y.L.S. is ranked in the bottom third of all law schools in the country, but with tuition and fees now set at $47,800 a year, it charges more than Harvard. It increased the size of the class that arrived in the fall of 2009 by an astounding 30 percent, even as hiring in the legal profession imploded. It reported in the most recent US News & World Report rankings that the median starting salary of its graduates was the same as for those of the best schools in the nation — even though most of its graduates, in fact, find work at less than half that amount.

Mr. Matasar declined to be interviewed for this article, though he agreed to answer questions e-mailed through a public relations representative.

Asked if there was a contradiction between his stand against expanding class sizes and the growth of the student population at N.Y.L.S., Mr. Matasar wrote: “The answer is that we exist in a market. When there is demand for education, we, like other law schools, respond.”

This is a story about the law school market, a singular creature of American capitalism, one that is so durable it seems utterly impervious to change. Why? The career of Richard Matasar offers some answers. His long-time and seemingly sincere ambition is to “radically disrupt our traditional approach to legal education,” as it says on his N.Y.L.S. Web page. But even he, it seems, is engaged in the same competition for dollars and students that consumes just about everyone with a financial and reputational stake in this business.

“The broken economic model Matasar describes appears to be his own template,” wrote Brian Z. Tamanaha, a professor at Washington University Law School in St. Louis, in a blog posting about Mr. Matasar last year. “Are his increasingly vocal criticisms of legal academia an unspoken mea culpa?”

A private, stand-alone institution located in the TriBeCa neighborhood of downtown Manhattan, New York Law School was founded in 1891 and counts Justice John Marshall Harlan among its most famous graduates. The school — which is not to be confused with New York University School of Law — is housed in a gleaming new 235,000-square-foot building at the corner of West Broadway and Leonard Street.

That building puts N.Y.L.S. in the middle of a nationwide trend: the law school construction boom. As other industries close offices and downsize plants, the manufacturing base behind the doctor of jurisprudence keeps growing. Fordham Law School in New York recently broke ground on a $250 million, 22-story building. The University of Baltimore School of Law and the University of Michigan Law School are both working on buildings that cost more that $100 million. Marquette University Law School in Wisconsin has just finished its own $85 million project. A bunch of other schools have built multimillion dollar additions.

Prior Art? (4, Informative)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795276)

Surely the SMTP protocol is a one way messaging protocol - and is older than I am!

Re:Prior Art? (5, Insightful)

yeesh (1811028) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795310)

ICQ. It's been out since 1996. And I think it's such a shame it's not still used. Back in the UO days it was the standard of online comms.

Re:Prior Art? (4, Insightful)

The Conductor (758639) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795368)

Not as old as SMTP, but older than ICQ, is the text-based talk program, which goes back to at least 4.2 BSD. And IRC and similar BBS type programs, as well as the VAX/VMS phone program, go back to the 80's at least. I know VMS phone had notification; can't remember if it had presence though.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795572)

ICQ is used pretty heavily in some countries - Russia and other ex-Soviet republics, most notably.

That said, it's not a good IM protocol. No Unicode until a few years ago (and some clients were slow to catch up with transition), passwords limited to 8 significant characters, numeric user IDs - it's very much a dinosaur.

Re:Prior Art? (2)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795620)

Phone didn't have presence, quite. However, in 1991, I abused phone to create a notification system for when your peeps logged in, thereby extending
a two-way chat application with presence.

Yes. I've had the code online since 1991.

Anybody with patents on two-way messaging and presence should probably line up and bite my shiny metal ass.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795712)

ICQ was the US college student IM app of choice 97-98ish.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795706)

Damn, my seven digit UNI is still active. Even all my old contacts are still there. It must have been over eight years since I've last logged into it. Ahh, the memories. And it now ties into Facebook? YUK!

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795344)

Tons of older protocols, from the early internet days and from the BBS side, too.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795642)

TAP alpha paging. It's the closest thing there is to SMS. It was around well before 2000, and even in two-way form at some point.

Re:Prior Art? (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795372)

I recall using 'instant messaging' on a network on VAX/VMS back in the '80s...

Re:Prior Art? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795386)

Yep. So were Unisys ICON machines, I fondly remember using one during my childhood and them showing us how to leave messages for people.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795496)

BSD talk worked between users on different machines in 1983. Unix talk predates that for users on single machines.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

thejuggler (610249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795562)

it was the talk command on unix or vms systems back then. And as a college experiment we wrote a two way messaging system using GWBASIC on DOS 3.1 back around 1987. If only the USPTO had people that had a clue.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795440)

So why is this troll being awarded the patent? I don't understand this at all?

Re:Prior Art? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795546)

Perhaps this is the USPTO's way of making more money -- letting people buy worthless patents that will get challenged and destroyed. They collect the fees and that's about it...

Re:Prior Art? (5, Insightful)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795588)

The Reason why this disgusting troll is being awarded a patent is because of multiple reasons
The most prescient is that the USPTO doesn't look for prior art, obviousness or novelty when granting patents.
The next reason is that the USPTO along with many ill-informed politicians believe that the number of patents granted in a year has a direct correlation to the technological development of the country. This is easily nullified by the very fact that patent trolls exist. Since a company can buy a patent which is a monopoly on a theoretical device, method, or nowadays even a data set (see Monsanto's gene patents), the actual technological imperative to produce is gone. It has been replaced with an incentive to suppress a technology defined in a patent, and when it has been developed by an independent company unaware of the patent, to sue and generate a profit.
Patents are defined in US law as a way to promote the progress of useful sciences and arts. In the last twenty or more years, it has been shown hands-down that patents do the exact opposite. They grant a monopoly to a company. The company then stands to gain in the short term far more by suing than by investing money in developing the device or method described in it's patents.
The way that the patent system has been gamed to prevent the public from doing real research and development is deplorable, and I will be glad of the day when patent is done away with.
I'm sure that patent will exist forever in US government, but all of my observations have show that it is not merely worthless as an institution, but detrimental to technological progress.

Re:Prior Art? (5, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795540)

It's not really even about messaging. The abstract in the patent application is so ass-backwards and contorted that nobody could make heads or tails of what the actual invention is. Here is the abstract:

A system for transmission, reception and accumulation of the knowledge packets to plurality of channel nodes in the network operating distributedly in a peer to peer environment via installable one or more role active Human Operating System (HOS) applications in a digital devise of each of channel node, a network controller registering and providing desired HOS applications and multiple developers developing advance communication and knowledge management applications and each of subscribers exploiting the said network resources by leveraging and augmenting taxonomically and ontologically classified knowledge classes expressed via plurality search macros and UKID structures facilitating said expert human agents for knowledge invocation and support services and service providers providing information services in the preidentified taxonomical classes, wherein each of channel nodes communicating with the unknown via domain specific supernodes each facilitating social networking and relationships development leading to human grid which is searchable via Universal Desktop Search by black box search module.

My favorite part has to be "knowledge packets"...

My eyes! (4, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795550)

They will not stand in my way when I patent:

System of using punctuation marks in order to make blocks of text more readable.

Re:My eyes! (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795646)

"Method and device for obfuscation of intellectual property descriptive text."

Re:My eyes! (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795694)

You have to apply the method recursively - "Method and apparatus for declearaficiation of mentally produced property descriptive collection of characters."

Re:Prior Art? (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795674)

The abstract in the patent application is so ass-backwards and contorted that nobody could make heads or tails of what the actual invention is.

My favorite part has to be "knowledge packets"...

Oh! That is Indglish - English spoken by an moderately* educated Indian guy. The perfect English mangling scheme for patents. Seriously, a lot of Indians do speak like that...

*- And I use "moderately" in a very loose sense...

Re:Prior Art? (3, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795682)

It is so utterly, completely obvious that the taxonomic ignification is merely a matter of sorting the knowledge packets according to chromulence, distification, and relevactory mystilience. I therefore award this patent to these geniuses, void all prior art, and entitle them to billions in ransom. Let it be known that this East Texas court is a fair and honest place where all may come and get their just rewards.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795632)

Christ almighty, not this fucking shit again.

Here we go again- ANOTHER fucking company run by a pair of shitbags who claim to own one or more of the basic building blocks of the internet. Give me a fucking break. Like we're going to pay these fucks at Kootol every we time we press a key, send a text, use email, look at the screen, or breath deeply.

Oh yes, Great Kootol, it will be our wondrous pleasure to bow to your mighty patent and pay you every step of the way for everything we do with any electronic device known to man! We're also blissfully ready to make retroactive payments back to 2005 that we now understand we owe you, too. Thank you, Lord Kootol for your infinite mercy and for allowing us to serve you!

Re:Prior Art? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795636)

Heck, the Egyptians had one-way message via couriers circa 2400 BCE.

Thought I would post an electronic message here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795278)

Surely the SMTP RFC negates this...?

Software patent implosion (4, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795280)

Good, the more ridiculous the patents get, the quicker something will be done to fix the mess. Personally, I'd like to see this patent granted, and dozens of companies ordered to pay lots of damages to the angelic company that is Kootol. ....if only to see the backlash from a thousand juggernauts against the current patent system ;)

Re:Software patent implosion (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795328)

This. Also, seriously, trying to sue Google, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, and pretty much every other major tech company all at once? I honestly think that this might have a serious chance of destroying software patents entirely. I mean, sure, the companies will be able to defend themselves, but the legal costs of having to do so against this obvious troll might finally drive them to push for fixing our damned patent system. Or maybe they'll just buy the patent (or something) and things will get worse. Judging by past experience, that seems most likely.

Re:Software patent implosion (5, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795358)

The mere fact that we're having to pin our hopes of patent reform on corporate interests is disgusting, and proof of the inherent failure of the US government to act on behalf of the interests of the greater good of its citizens in practical matters.

Re:Software patent implosion (2)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795510)

The failure of the US government to act on behalf of the interests of the greater good of its citizens lies with said citizens.

Re:Software patent implosion (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795568)

Indeed. The Republicans fuck up, so the fools vote in the Democrats. The Democrats fuck up, so the fools vote in the Republicans. The Republicans fuck up, so the fools vote in the Democrats. The Democrats fuck up, so the fools vote in the Republicans. Holy fuck, there might just be a cycle going on here.

Re:Software patent implosion (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795690)

Government only looks out for the good of itself. Which is the simple reason it should be limited and very defined roles. Not the "do it for the children" nanny state we've become.

Re:Software patent implosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795512)

Well it's not like you're going to do anything about it, so suck it up.

Re:Software patent implosion (0)

thejuggler (610249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795574)

I guess you have no understanding of patents. They were never meant to be for the greater good of society. There were meant to protect inventors of things from those that would steal the ideas. The holder of the patent gets to decide if they want to release the patent to society for the greater good.

Re:Software patent implosion (4, Insightful)

greenbird (859670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795668)

I guess you have no understanding of patents... There were meant to protect inventors of things from those that would steal the ideas.

I guess you have no understanding of patents or at least not if you're from the US. They were never indented to protect inventors from anything. You might want to take just a little peek at Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution [wikipedia.org] . The only Constitutional justification for granting monopoly rights to something is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Nothing in there about protecting inventors from anything. And seems to me that justification is pretty focused on the greater good of society.

Re:Software patent implosion (2, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795724)

You mean, other than the "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" part which you conveniently left out.

Re:Software patent implosion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795616)

Don't worry. The free market will sort it out - and the government, meanwhile, is the problem, not the solution.

Re:Software patent implosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795670)

"act on behalf of the interests of the greater good of its citizens in practical matters."

As much as I detest the patent system I'm horrified at your concept of the purpose of government but ok.

Re:Software patent implosion (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795708)

"The software you are suing over predates your patent. Do you wish to continue?" If you answer "Yes" to that question, you should become liable for triple the damages you are claiming upon losing the case.

Re:Software patent implosion (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795378)

Most of the thousand juggernauts you speak of are only juggernauts themselves because the patent system is the way it is. They'd much rather pay some miniscule fee than destroy their entire business model. It's going to need to get much worse before it gets better.

Re:Software patent implosion (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795514)

Most of the thousand juggernauts you speak of are only juggernauts themselves because the patent system is the way it is. They'd much rather pay some miniscule fee than destroy their entire business model. It's going to need to get much worse before it gets better.

(emphasis added)

Isn't that so typically the case? I'd say there seems to be nothing more American than avoiding at all costs the use of foresight and prevention (i.e. before something turns into a crisis) but unfortunately, the USA doesn't have a monopoly on this.

Fools are the sort who really desire political power. Nothing is less evident to a fool than the fact that every large national crisis was once a small problem that could have been resolved with relative ease, but the failure to do so allowed it to grow and evolve into a monster.

The idea scales in both directions. It's true of individual personal lives and it's true of national affairs. Those who don't understand this think they are victims of misfortune. The reality is, an actual victim of misfortune that was completely unforeseeable and non-preventable is an extremely rare entity. On the national scale though, there is a grave injustice built into this: the fact that those who did see it coming are few and tend to be drowned out by the din of reactive fools. When they are affected by broken systems, they get to suffer along with those who really deserve it.

Funny how when politicians talk about "fairness" (really a puerile version of justice), distribution of wealth is the only kind they seem to recognize.

Re:Software patent implosion (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795498)

I'd respond to your comment, but I'm worried I'd be violating Kootol's patent if I did.

Re:Software patent implosion (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795650)

Well that's a nice thought (and I would hope that would be the outcome) but that only works when you've got someone in the decision making chain who's (choose one) sane or views that as a bad outcome.

For instance, normally when you end up with standard procedure involving sexually molesting children you might stop that, but for DHS that's just reasonable procedure.

In this case, big companies can settle up with Kootol and it becomes yet another barrier for entry to small businesses. As far as they're concerned, that's a good outcome. It's worth the small outlay to keep new competitors out.

I'm especially remembering the horrible naivete of the early internet years when everyone was convinced nobody would stand for massive violations of privacy, tracking, traffic shaping, etc.

I am waiting to see someone patent the textbooks (1)

weiqj (870224) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795284)

from CS 101 to advanced courses.

Re:I am waiting to see someone patent the textbook (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795538)

from CS 101 to advanced courses.

Patents won't cover the text; that's what copyright does.

But, there's one thing I wouldn't put past them. When e-books for college textbooks start to take off, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they come in a proprietary file format. The format itself and/or the method of rendering human-readable text from it certainly could be patented.

Then it would be even easier for them to a) kill off the used book market and b) change a couple of chapters around and create a "New Edition" that will be required next year.

Re:I am waiting to see someone patent the textbook (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795610)

Hmm, I like this idea. How about a patent for "Storing a complex clusters of knowledge packets such that the Operating System needs only to store the location of a single head/root packet, and each packet needs only to knowledge of one or more other packets."

There, trees lists and graphs all in a few stupid lines of legal nonsense. Maybe get specific, and patent that damned k-D tree so no one else gets tortured trying to understand how to delete crap from one.

Nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795288)

So, patent filed in 2005. Facebook launched in 2004. Nice try!

Also, next time, maybe you shouldn't take your podunk "company" and try suing IBM, Apple, and Google all at the same time. They could literally just pay their lawyers to come and sit on your lawn and you'd be crushed under their combined gravitational weight.

Really? (1, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795294)

I'm pretty sure I was using instant messaging programs well before 2005. I remember having used them since I discovered computers in the late 80s.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795360)

MOD Parent up (1)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795410)

+1

Re:Really? (1)

baegucb (18706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795578)

I sent instant messaged to someone 350 miles away on an IBM 370/125 in the 70s. If two computers have communication, there is usually a way that can be worked out. And yeah, I was told on IRC in the 90s I was "older than dirt."

[PriorArt] ICQ back in the days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795370)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICQ

ICQ was developed in 1996 by Mirabilis.

The technology's success caused AOL to acquire Mirabilis on June 8, 1998...

If this is not prior art, I don't know what it is...

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795424)

In that case you owe me patent royalties, as I invented the digital computer last week.

Surely I have at least as sound a claim as Kootol does.

Re:Really? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795686)

You're doing it wrong, you need a block of text so obfuscated that the USPTO isn't quite sure what they're granting.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795710)

But this is real time and using a computer. Not like... say... talk/ytalk. Maybe there's something else...did they also patented water?

Re:Really? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795788)

I'm pretty sure I was using instant messaging programs well before 2005. I remember having used them since I discovered computers in the late 80s.

You're responding to the click-bait headline, not the patent.

fuckin pakis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795298)

send them back to India.

Patent system is broken! (5, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795304)

Here's the problem, even ignoring issues like software patents, and the morass they cause. The USPTO has stated that they're overwhelmed, so they're just checking the paperwork, and if its all in order, they rubber stamp it and grant the patent, the courts can sort out what patents are valid, they say. Meanwhile, the Courts are continuing to defer to the expertise of the patent office, and are EXTREMELY "reluctant" to void patents. So we get any invention, no matter how obvious, no matter how old, being patentable. And as long as you're smart about who you sue as a patent troll, (pick targets who can't afford to defend themselves, and file in known friendly courts), you're golden. The system is totally borked.

Re:Patent system is broken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795384)

But how much of the 'morass' is caused by software type patents?

It seems like a huge percentage of patents that are filed are for software and gui's design (not really even the code just the layout). My opinion is those should be handled under copyright and trademark laws. Any physical device handled by patent.

Re:Patent system is broken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795508)

It seems the problem is more software and method type patents than the whole system. What good software engineer is going to become an examiner for the USPTO compared to the benefits they could receive elsewhere.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795598)

It seems like a huge percentage of patents that are filed are for software and gui's design (not really even the code just the layout).

"Just the layout" is actually a reasonable design patent (unless it's too broad). It's also not all that harmful, since rearranging the UI elements is easy.

My opinion is those should be handled under copyright and trademark laws. Any physical device handled by patent

That's already how it works. The problem is that patent claims then begin with "a computational device, executing code that does ..." - so the patent is for a physical device by the letter of the law.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795416)

I'm usually the last person to speak about the benefits of more work (and will cite the broken windows fallacy at the nearest opportunity).

But on this occasion, it looks like they could do with more workers. Qualified workers at that.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795484)

They have no incentive to hire more workers, because it means higher costs. Currently they have a good income by rubber stamping everything but the costs of these patents are conveyed to the consumers. Unless their mandate is changed, they won't reform.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795702)

Perhaps we should go back to actually funding the USPTO mainly with tax revenue. I realize that there's a lot of people here that are opposed on principle, but sometimes taxpayers are the correct party to fund things.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795422)

BRB, filling out a patent application: Method for propelling a platform along a flat surface using rounded supports attached by a shaft.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795464)

Given that they granted "Method for swinging on a swing" I wouldn't doubt that they'd grant it.

Re:Patent system is broken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795446)

> so they're just checking the paperwork,

It is worse than that. If they grant the patent they get to collect fees. If they reject they they get less revenue. The more revenue they get the more employees there might be to clear the backlog. More employees means higher saleries for the managers.

If patents are challenged then guess what happens: they collect more fees. If the courts void a patent then what is the comeeback on the USPTO ? Well future fees are lost but they don't even have to give back fees they have collected.

This is the 'indulgences' of the 21st century.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795720)

If this is the case, then the whole thing needs to just go away. "we can't do our job because we're too busy not doing our job" is no excuse.

Re:Patent system is broken! (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795748)

Meanwhile, the Courts are continuing to defer to the expertise of the patent office, and are EXTREMELY "reluctant" to void patents.

The problem isn't reluctance but rather the current legal standard for invalidating a patent. Once a patent is granted it requires "clear and convincing" evidence to invalidate it. It's neigh impossible come up with "clear and convincing" evidence of anything relating to something like software that your average ditch digger or housewife, hell, or even your average judge has little understanding of. All the defense has to do is throw out just a little baffling bullshit and there goes "clear and convincing" out the door. And we won't even go into the expense involved which is unrecoverable even when the patent is invalidated.

Way back in the day (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795318)

We used to chat with the SYSOP of the various BBS systems in real time. It was certainly 2 way communication, using computers. Before the web.
The Patent Office would be really retarded dicks to grant such a patent. Wait, they work for the government. Nevermind.

Abstract is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795362)

"A system for transmission, reception and accumulation of the knowledge packets to plurality of channel nodes in the network operating distributedly in a peer to peer environment via installable one or more role active Human Operating System (HOS) applications in a digital devise of each of channel node, a network controller registering and providing desired HOS applications and multiple developers developing advance communication and knowledge management applications and each of subscribers exploiting the said network resources by leveraging and augmenting taxonomically and ontologically classified knowledge classes expressed via plurality search macros and UKID structures facilitating said expert human agents for knowledge invocation and support services and service providers providing information services in the preidentified taxonomical classes, wherein each of channel nodes communicating with the unknown via domain specific supernodes each facilitating social networking and relationships development leading to human grid which is searchable via Universal Desktop Search by black box search module."

Application No. US 12/973387 [ip.com]

Worthless claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795400)

If you really want to know what this patent is all about, look at the claims to be issued. They are extremely narrow, and would only cover social networking sites if anything. Even more interesting, their claims are probably worthless in light of Muniauction. Proving joint infringement for these claims is likely impossible.

I think I've seen this before (4, Interesting)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795402)

This looks very similar to the Andrew Messaging System that became the CMU campus wide mail system circa 1985.

Hacked already (1)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795406)

Well that didn't take long...

Check out the bottom of their site. http://www.kootol.com/Default.html [kootol.com] .

Re:Hacked already (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795494)

Sorry, I don't see anything hacked or otherwise off (except for the crazy patent-trolling) about the page, top or bottom. The linked images also appear un-hacked.

I really hope the ultra-cluttered "Figure 2" is not of the actual program(s) they want their customers to use, though. A screenshot that ugly doesn't need hacking.

Re:Hacked already (2)

the_enigma_1983 (742079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795534)

Check the HTML. A div is created, 4 links to random sites inserted, and then said div is hidden via javascript. Presumably some SOE-aimed hack/spam/bot/thing.

Re:Hacked already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795526)

Strangely, it seems like it's only visible to those without javascript - like us (the enlightened :P ) and, importantly, search crawlers:


<div id="linkf"><ul>
<li><a href="http://[link removed]/">juicy couture</a></li>
<li><a href="http://[link removed]/">chanel bag</a></li>
<li><a href="http://[link removed]/">Christian Louboutin</a></li>

<li><a href=http://[link removed]/">Replica Purses</a></li>
<li><a href="http://[link removed]/">Ghd Hair Australia</a></li>
<script type="text/javascript">document.getElementById("link" + "f").style.display="no" + "ne";</script>

Search crawlers will ignore the line of javascript on the bottom, which makes it invisible to most web browsers. They aren't trying to deface the site - they're just going for SEO hacking.

Since it isn't visible to most browsers, this malicious code might have been there for a very long time, and the webmaster might still be unaware that the site got owned.

Prior art (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795426)

"claims they invented one and two way messaging in 2005"

I read TFA's description of the patent application, and it doesn't look any different from what this two-way pager (RIM R900M) I have was doing in 1995.

7,991,764 issuing 08/02/2011 (1)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795432)

This information is available on the USPTO's website under Public PAIR. You can look at the entire prosecution history of the patent -- and notice that they have submitted a sh*tload of prior art to the USPTO on this one.

Whether you like it or not, it looks like they've spent a lot of money setting this one up.

Start plowing through that prosecution history and start looking for prior art -- early prior art that isn't already on the list.

Re:7,991,764 issuing 08/02/2011 (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795570)

So wait a tick, there is already a ton of prior art ON FILE and yet the patent is still deemed valid? Wouldn't, say, several dozen prior inventions that do what you're trying to patent being on file in the application generally preclude granting of that patent?

Re:7,991,764 issuing 08/02/2011 (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795736)

It's not technically granted yet, but it's in the last stages. They also filed an application with EPO and that will be challenged, since Florian Mueller raised that as an issue.

Re:7,991,764 issuing 08/02/2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795772)

Ah but they cheated... Half the prior art they submitted was AFTER the notice of allowance was filed and issue fee was paid. That means the examiner didn't look at it (or even rubber stamp that he looked at it when he didn't). They would technically need to now send in a petition to withdraw from issue and pay a reexamination fee.

So if nobody pays in the next few months... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795438)

Does that mean that they won't be able to afford to pay the fees to get the patent granted?

Kootol's logo looks like Google's.. (1)

yossie (93792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795450)

Maybe it's just me, but I think Kootol's logo looks very similar to Gooogl's logo!
http://www.kootol.com/Images/Kootol_Logo.png
http://www.google.com/images/logos/ssl_ps_logo.png

G-G-Gooogle It! (1)

Eyeballs (64172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795476)

Searching for "two way messaging" and limiting the date rate to _before_ 2005 reveals old web pages mentioning the subject.

For example, here's a web page from 2002:
http://www.wireless-location.com/fcc/tech.htm

Which says:
Along with the FCC's deregulation of telecommunications services, all three of these service providers now offer their customers Email, Internet, and Paging along with their traditional fleet dispatching services. Both Bellsouth and ARDIS (through third party manufacturers) offer small handheld messaging devices that have full function keyboards for two way messaging. Late in 1997 Bellsouth acquired 100% ownership of RAM and in March of 1998 changed the name to Bellsouth Mobile Data. ARDIS, which until recently was owned by Motorola, has been acquired by AMSC to complement its nationwide satellite data communications network by offering its customers lower cost service where ARDIS coverage is available.

Or this press release from 1994:
http://www.telecompaper.com/news/ete-device-offers-2way-pda-messaging

Sum it up for me gents. (1)

Palmsie (1550787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795492)

I'm not in the patenting arena (rather a researcher by day), I read a ton about how the patent system is totally broken but since I don't interact with it at all would one of you fine scholars be noble enough to provide myself (and perhaps a few others) with some resources that illustrate how broken things are so I can better understand the situation? I would greatly appreciate this. Thanks!

Re:Sum it up for me gents. (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795664)

Patent trolling in 10 easy steps:

1) people fooling around with code make new, cool things that are useful
2) someone notices and suggests to these people that these useful things would be useful to other people, and they could probably sell it for something
3) the inventor sells it and starts to make some money, thinking how wonderful it is that this useful thing could be useful to someone else while making some money for him/her.
4) someone with a bit of legalese and a knowledge of the patent system notices something new and useful being sold
5) they take the concept and boil it down to an abstract of the process, without any need to specify implementation detail. They dress it up in abstract diagrams and file it with the patent office
6) ???
7) Patent office approves without checking any of the criteria originally required of them to check ("innovative", "original", "not a mathematical process/formula")
8) patent filer (henceforth known as the "patent troll") sues inventor, and anyone who made anything similar enough as a competing product
9) Profit!
10) There is no step 10.

Alternatively, Patent Troll sells Patent portfolio to Big Company who goes from step 8 onwards.

Re:Sum it up for me gents. (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795782)

Cell phone patent thicket [techdirt.com] . You're in research. Think of where we'd be if all the money being wasted on lawyers was instead being invested in research on better cell phone technology. And it's gonna get worse once the Apple/Microsoft/RIM consortium get all the patents they bought [reuters.com] from the Nortel dissolution sorted. All three are renowned for spending money on lawyers rather than on innovating.

I looked at their careers page... (1)

TheSpatulaOfLove (966301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795504)

And I couldn't find any positions listed for 'shitbag' or 'troll'. I figured if they plan on taking on the big fish, they would need legions of shitbags to help take the Internet by storm. I guess they have all the shitbags they need... damn.

Penalty for Patent Trolling? (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795528)

It seems that a lot of these frivolous claims could be avoided if there was a stiff penalty for taking a patent issue to court and losing.

Still time to challenge- not issued yet (1)

afmstuff (954673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795544)

Common advice from IP counsel is to never mention allowed, but not issued patents. The typical logic is that time still exists to challenge the issuance before publication. This is common advice we receive routinely, so I am surprised the featured company would draw so much attention to themselves before having stable footing. Perhaps the featured company is not receiving solid counsel? As such, I believe it may be worthwhile to seek out the clerk responsible for this patent for discussion before issuance, if anybody has time to pursue it.

Further proof (2)

Darkenole (149792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795554)

That the USPTO is staffed with lazy incompetent morons.

Aw c'mon... (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795566)

Even WOPR was calling David Lightman back in 1983 for a quick game of thermonuclear war...

IRC. (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795644)

O hai thar!

It's a first office action allowance (1)

Unixnoteunuchs (990069) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795648)

In the case of computer software related technology, a patent application that receives an allowance in the first office action is not worth the paper on which it is printed. Even if this issues, it will probably be invalidated by the patent office itself even before litigation. IAAPL.

Challenges to the Patent are only $1500 or so (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795680)

Anyone can pay the fee and submit evidence that says that there were the following items of relevant prior art with documentation and the USPTO will review and issue their judgment.

To that extent, if someone patents something that had been done at a college in the 80s, it would be worthwhile submitting the documentation to show it was not a newly "invented" system.

Right now the patent application which is published does NOT reflect the allowed claims, which is typically narrower than what was originally submitted.

It will take some time to sort this out.

Is someone going to step up? (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795714)

It seems to me that everyone comes on here and bitches every couple of weeks when another patent trolling case lights up the collective ire of Geeks United, complaining that the USPTO is incompetent, couldn't tell Prior Art if it was stuck in their prosteriors, and generally how much these things suck.

Has anyone done anything about it? Has anyone called to apply for a job at the USPTO, as unglamorous as that is? Do you not want to work for "the man"? Do we have anyone here who works for the patent office?

Seems to me you could get very far very quickly as a patent reviewer if you could go in and show that these things are dumb, have been done before and are solely for the purposes of legal action by those who have no claim to be exploiting the patent. I am of course assuming that there's someone with a bit of principle still left at the patent office, if only they could get help in reviewing - or is the patent office just out to make a buck these days?

(I recognise the irony in saying this rather than doing it myself, but as I'm not a US citizen nor do I reside in the US, it'd be difficult at best for me to follow through.)

Check Public Pair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795718)

Anytime you want the real story of a patent check public pair. http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair

It has the whole case-file with rejections and arguments by the attorneys.

Claims 481-525 and 662-668 allowed. There were originally 457 claims filed. Remember an examiner has 11 hours to search and the reject (if necessary) each and every claim.

Also they have filed 22 followup applications based upon this original application!!!!

Also interesting they filed a Information disclosure statement after paying the issue fee. Therefore any reference therein haven't been considered.

MORSE CODE tickers, RADIO TELETYPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36795734)

Morse CODE tickers (produces the dots and dashes on paper) and RADIO TELETYPE (baudot code).
Both are two way messaging systems... and are older than the hills.
Geesh I even used a papertape teletype KSR-34 to send and receive messages from/to a girlfriend I had in 1971. Dont know which is stranger, a young geek having a girlfriend or using teletype to program on.

Prior Art (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36795758)

Talk
Ytalk
VMS Phone
VMS "CB Simulator"
IRC
Telnet chats
MUDs, MOOs and such.
ICQ - and every variation of this from here on like yahoo chat and AIM.

Those are just the ones I've had hands-on experience with

I am sure there must have been some sort of instant messaging under Multics back in the '60s.

--
BMO

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