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Will Google TV Owe Royalties For Universal Search?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the advancement-of-the-useful-arts-and-sciences dept.

Cloud 91

An anonymous reader writes "Google TV, TiVo, iTunes and virtually every big consumer electronics maker have promised 'universal search' engines that enable users to quickly find and play movies, music and other content, no matter where it is stored. But Crestron Electronics, a developer of home automation systems, just filed a patent for 'Searching Two or More Media Sources for Media.' In other words, universal search, specifically for both local and cloud-based content."

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91 comments

prior art (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525496)

I first looked for media (music) from two or more media sources (napster and my own cd collection) over a decade ago.

Seriously, how can you patent "looking in two different places for something you want". I think that's called cross-shopping and it's been going on since about 2 days after we found out we can barter one item for another back in the stone age?

Re:prior art (2)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525538)

Yes, but they added "on a TV".

it's good for google. (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526078)

can I add on "in bed" and patent that?

The upshot for google is that this is fantastic news. Let this other company sue them and deliberately loose to establish the validity of the patent. then buy the patent. Of course you do the negotiations for an Option to Buy and Lose in that order or you are screwed.

Re:it's good for google. (3, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526600)

"What would you do if you had 1 million dollars?"

"Search two sources at the same time."

Re:prior art (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37526394)

It's not a TV.
It's a media center console.

Re:prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525570)

well, since a program is doing it that's probably why they consider it different. although of course it should still not be patentable because i'm pretty sure lots of applications that use this have been written before. although seeing as how the US has happily switched to a 'first to file' method, i don't know what will happen.

also, ampache (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampache) most probably already has this feature.

Re:prior art (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526540)

What do you mean "switched to". The patent office has always just searched their own database. Its up to the filer to provide prior art and why their patent is new. When you file, the examiner just shakes a can or something and gives you a random list of unrelated patents and asks you why yours isn't covered by them. Its clear they haven't read yours or the other patents, they just have similar words in the title. After that you are approved. I'm speaking from going through this in 1982 and it was the same long before that.

Re:prior art (0)

slashpot (11017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525664)

I have prior art - in my pants!

Re:prior art (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525784)

Can you prove that you did that?

Here is an example ok ... Microsoft recently got this patent:
http://www.reghardware.com/2011/09/23/microsoft_contemplates_mobiles_with_interchangeable_accessories/ [reghardware.com]

Now, go to http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/26/how-would-you-change-sony-ericssons-xperia-x1/2#comments [engadget.com] and do a find in page for the word "bottom" or "pop out" ... ok read that description .. now if you scroll up to the top of the article you can see a photo of the Xperia X1 which is being talked about .. notice that a combination of the Xperia X1 and the comment exactly fit the patent of microsoft? If you read the actual patent it becomes even clearer they stole the idea from that engadget comment.

Sorry if this is confusing .. if you disagree let me know.

Re:prior art (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525908)

Also I want to point out that the actual patent description talks about a second display .. exactly like the comment describes .. furthermore there are other comments where a second display is not mentioned .. but either way the Microsoft patent does in fact talk about a second display underneath the swappable accessory.. they fucking stole the idea in its entirety.

Re:prior art (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526276)

What Crestron seems to be trying to patent here is some very basic set arithmetic that is fundemental mathematics that predates even the first paper on relational databases.

This is yet another "invention" that sounds like an undergraduate computer science homework assignment.

Stop the patent insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37533202)

Recommendation:

1. Set up a "nameplate" company in a TLC (tiny little country) that does not respect US patent law.

2. Sell your software technology (including ownership of its ongoing development) to that company.

3. "Ask" that company to license the technology back to you.

The big tech co's use this sort of arrangement to avoid paying tax. (see the "double dutch" manoeuvre.)

I suggest it be used by everyone to avoid paying royalties on ridiculously obvious software patents.

Tivo has been doing this for several years (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526402)

Tivo has been doing this for quite some time; so this is an actual implementation in use.

The USPTO strikes again.

huh? (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527238)

How does the USPTO strike again? Accept an applicant's money for filing an application?

No patent has been granted yet.

So why don't we hear about more rejections? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37528226)

So why don't we ever hear news stories of these applications getting rejected? Might it be that most rejected patent applications [patentlyo.com] eventually get accepted after a few rounds of back-and-forth between the inventor and the examiner to narrow the claims?

Re:prior art (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526478)

Isn't "looking in two different places for something you want" the definition of "search"?

missing buzzwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525510)

'Searching Two or More Media Sources for Media.' ... on a computer.

Prior art already exists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525512)

I mount my cloud based drive as a regular drive on my PC, and both my Linux and Windows OSs that I have allow me to search both local mounts and this mount at the same time. Wouldn't that be prior art?

Re:Prior art already exists? (1)

chrispix (624431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526054)

That was my exact thought. You can do a search across local & remote storage, and have been able to for a while now.

Re:Prior art already exists? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526330)

If you go this route, then the prior art dates back to at least 1988.

It probably goes back even furthur. 1988 just represents my own personal experience with regards to "cloud storage".

Re:Prior art already exists? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526754)

In a First to File world, prior art is meaningless unless it was published.

Re:Prior art already exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37527834)

In a First to File world, prior art is meaningless unless it was published.

Crap. You just made that up.

Re:Prior art already exists? (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527902)

Published, or already on sale, already in common use, or otherwise already available to the public.

The basic distinction is that, if you're already working on a patent for the same thing, and someone else gets their application in first, you can't win the patent, even if you can prove you invented it first. You may or may not be able to invalidate their patent application on the basis of prior art, depending on just how your technology is already being used compared to the other guy's.

Isn't Google prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525518)

Surely Google's combined search feature of showing images, a top news story, financial data, or IMDB information as well as searching web pages would count as prior art here?

Just when you think that patents can't get more ridiculous, someone always manages to do better... *sigh*

Re:Isn't Google prior art? (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527160)

With the new patent reform act prior art will have no bearing. It will be all about who files first.

Re:Isn't Google prior art? (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527996)

Incorrect, prior art means just as much in a first to file country (which is most of the world) as in a first to invent world. The only real difference is in the race to turn your top secret stuff into a patent before the other guys turns his top secret stuff into a patent. In the past, here in the USA, it was "first to invent"... you patent gets in after the other guy's, but you can prove, via engineering notebooks or other trade secret stuff that you did it first, you can get the patent. Now, whoever files first gets the patent.

Prior art is still prior art -- if it read on the patent before the "America Invents" Act, it'll read on the patent afterwards. The only real difference is for the above scenario. If you're the second to file, your work may or may not read on the other guy's work. Under the old system, YOU get the patent if that's the case and you can prove you came up with it first. Under the new system, either he gets the patent, or your work is accepted as prior art and no one gets the patent.

Doesnt google already search "2 or more sources" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525528)

Doesnt google already search "2 or more sources"

Re:Doesnt google already search "2 or more sources (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526798)

No, google only searches one source: its own database of content.

This patent specifically covers pulling matching items from multiple entirely separate sources and presenting them on the same list (allowing them to be either sorted or filtered by metadata, e.g. resolution, cost, etc.)

Not saying that there aren't many, many examples of such applications available; just that Google's web search is not one of them.

If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525544)

If they "just filed a patent" , and Google has already been using it:
i)Why would Google have to pay royalty?
ii)Wouldnt Google's use be prior art?

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525740)

Did you miss the part where with the America Invents Act [iplawalert.com] has now entrenched First-to-File?

Who needs prior are if you're the first one to file for a patent?

Welcome to a huge step backwards in the already bad intellectual property laws. You don't have the to be the one to come up with an idea, just the one to beat someone else on your patent filing.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525836)

First-to-file doesn't affect prior art. Prior art still invalidates patent claims in the same way that it has always done (i.e., with less effect than is commonly believed, unfortunately).

The point of first-to-file is _only_ to resolve priority in situations where two parties file overlapping valid (i.e. novel) patents. Previously, there would be a horrible expensive process to determine who thought of the idea in secret first. Not nice to prove. Now, it's just a question of who filed the paperwork first. It doesn't sound as fair but at least it's less of a lawyer-feast - and it _is_ the way the rest of the world already operates, for what that's worth. But again, first-to-file doesn't automatically mean you can get patents on already-publicly-known "inventions".

For that, you have to blame the USPTO's examiners.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (3, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525972)

This AC is right, the Act does not mean prior art no longer counts. Citing:

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless:

        '(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or

        '(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date[3] of the claimed invention.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526536)

Yeah, but from the link I provided, they've also muddied the waters somewhat ...

One element of uncertainty that will be created by this Act, at least for the next five to ten years, is the definition of invalidating prior art. Prior to this reform, decades of case law had been established to define what was necessary for prior art to be invalidating because it was "known," "used," "patented," "described in a printed publication," "in public use" or "on sale." However, 35 U.S.C. Â102, as amended, has introduced a new standard of "otherwise available to the public." The statute does not define this phrase and it will take time for the Federal Circuit to sort out. While this Act has created some certainty as to what may qualify as invalidating prior art with respect to the invention date, it has introduced a new level of uncertainty as to what types or quality of publications or events may qualify as invalidating prior art.

So, it might take some time until there is clear enough case law to establish what all this means and the like.

Will only broaden (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37528268)

So, it might take some time until there is clear enough case law to establish what all this means

I imagine that the Federal Circuit will start by defining "otherwise available to the public" at least as broadly as "known or used".

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (2)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526546)

Not only are you wrong (see the other person(s) who replied to you), but first-inventor-to-file doesn't even go into effect until 16 March 2013, and then only for applications filed on or after that date.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37527274)

Furthermore first to file dosen't invalidate "prior art". I can't be granted a patent for the wheel just because no one else has filed before me. The idea of first to file is if two people invent something at more or less the same time, but one files for the patent and the other one dosen't the second guy can't show up latter and say actually I invented that before, you but didn't publish it so I'm calamining the patent.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525754)

It wasn't really "just filed." It was filed March 10th, 2010 ( http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2011/0225156.html ). I believe this means prior art needs to be from March 10th, 2009 or earlier. Google TV was announced in May of 2010, so it wouldn't qualify. However, as Google rose in popularity but before it became *THE* place to search, there were a lot of meta search engines. You'd type your query in one site and see results from Google, Alta Vista, Yahoo, etc. (These died out as searching Google became all anyone wanted to do.) So these might qualify as prior art. In fact, here's one that was developed in 1994: Metacrawler ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacrawler )

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37526158)

Dogpile.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526608)

Prior art between 10 March 2009 and 9 March 2010 can also count, but there's a chance that the applicant will be able to show that they invented it before such prior art. They would have to show proof of conception of the entire claimed invention at a prior date, along with due diligence in developing the invention toward a reduction to practice (i.e., actually building the complete invention or filing the application) between the prior art's date and the reduction to practice.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37526906)

If they invented it earlier, but at nearly the same time, so before filing, others also "invented" and started using it, wouldn't that invalidate it because its something obvious in the field?

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529882)

Windows' built in search in Explorer in XP searches through multiple Hard drives and CD-ROMs if so desired. That's multiple media devices, and it's searching through them. I'd say that's prior art.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525804)

If they "just filed a patent" , and Google has already been using it:
i)Why would Google have to pay royalty?

Didn't the USA just become a "first-to-file" nation?

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525870)

That doesn't abolish the concept of prior art, but rather establishes priority in the patent filing queue. The patent, even if granted, can still be invalidated if someone else commercialized or publicized it first.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525952)

If they "just filed a patent" , and Google has already been using it:
i)Why would Google have to pay royalty?

Didn't the USA just become a "first-to-file" nation?

does not overrule the prior art clause

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526514)

Yes, but it still has the obvious clause, so if the idea is well known before you patent then it is deemed obvious ...

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525964)

The article indicates that a big portion of the patent covers prioritizing the search results based on a number of factors. One of the main factors listed as price. Google's search doesn't factor price into the rankings, so it likely both wouldn't infringe and would not be an example of prior art. However the patent could prove limiting for GTV going forward if they ever do want to incorporate pay-per-view services into it.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526292)

select * from
(some subquery)
order by whatever you want;

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (4, Informative)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526336)

The article indicates that a big portion of the patent covers prioritizing the search results based on a number of factors. One of the main factors listed as price. Google's search doesn't factor price into the rankings, so it likely both wouldn't infringe and would not be an example of prior art.

Have you never used Google Shopping, or Advanced Search? Sort by Relevance, Sort by Price.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526742)

Does Google Shopping not display results from multiple sources as well? This search for "White Album" by The Beatles [google.com] turns up a number of different media from a wide variety of sources. Google Product Search [wikipedia.org] started as "Froogle" back in 2002. Anyone with any kind of web tv could have used it "on a television".

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526720)

Doesn't first to file pretty much do away with prior art? Seams to me that any invention that has never had a paten filed against it is now up for grabs.

Re:If they "just filed a patent"... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527022)

No, they still have to have invented it. If somebody else publishes the idea, somebody else doesn't get to come along and get a patent because they filed for it, they would still have to show that there wasn't prior art that would invalidate the patent.

Google retrieval? (2)

quick2think (833211) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525548)

The whole point of search is to look in more than one place, otherwise it would be called Google retrieval.

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526832)

You're missing the point: the patent is specifically about amalgamating and presenting results that aren't covered by a single searchable database. Something like metacrawler might be prior art, google search isn't.

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

jdoverholt (1229898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527132)

(Patent Application [patentstorm.us] , for those interested.)

I like your take on this. The whole application should be reject because it's based on a faulty premise (statement 6, below).

[0004] Searching online for various media such as video, audio, and still images is known. Further, searching for such media on a user's local hard drive is also known. For example, programs such as Microsoft's Media Center.RTM., Google.RTM., Yahoo.RTM., Youtube.RTM., OSX.RTM., iTunes.RTM., Windows.RTM., and TIVO.RTM., all include integrated search mechanisms to locate specific data.

[0005] However, each of these programs compartmentalizes the search process to specific kinds of data. For example, iTunes.com.RTM. locates all media stored or available within the iTunes.RTM. system, which is a small subset of all the video, images, and audio available online. iTunes.RTM. also only searches for data stored in its own format, and does not search a users locally or remotely stored available data. Youtube.RTM. only searches for videos on Youtube.RTM.. Windows.RTM. only searches for data on the user's internal and external hard drives. Yahoo.RTM. only searches the internet and not the user's hard drive or local media storage devices. Google.RTM., while providing a mechanism to search both the internet and the user's hard drive, cannot search both the internet and the user's hard drive simultaneously and provide a single set of search results. Further, Google only allows searches dedicated to video, audio, or images, and does not provide a mechanism for searching for all media types at the same time.

[0006] Thus, there does not exist a system that searches all known media sources, both local and remote, and presents to a user a consolidated list of search results that is grouped according to media content and filtered and sorted according to the user's preferences.

A quick Google search for Trains [google.com] shows relevant webpages, images, videos, and news articles. I'm pretty sure they've done this for awhile now, though I couldn't prove it.

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527916)

But even Google combining multiple search types doesn't make them covered by the patent, as the patent claims specifically require that results be grouped based on having similar metadata. That's the key innovation that makes this patent reasonable. Google could meet the patent if its results list came back saying "We have this set of results about European trains, this set about model trains, this set about wedding dress trains, and this set about Thomas the Tank Engine porn."

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37528732)

Okay I recently have been wondering why doesn't Google Search on my HTC also search my phone and sdcard which is kinda important when you get into many gigs each.

That said, what you are talking about is what the Northern Light search engine used to do, clustering results quite successfully IIRC into folders. Also had a very nice design. And it would search the Internet, news, and thousands of publications in databases.
http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/features/nlight/review.html [searchengineshowdown.com]

This page also says:

Northern Light also offers usgovsearch as a separate service. In conjunction with NTIS, Northern Light introduced usgovsearch for searching U.S. federal government Web sites, the NTIS bibliographic database, and Northern Light's Special Collections. Free searching was initially available to public libraries, K-12 public school libraries, and depository libraries. Otherwise a daily, monthly, or annual charge was required for access to the service. The government Web sites included in this service went well beyond the simple limiting of a search to .gov and .mil top level domains available in the Power Search on regular Northern Light. As of Dec. 2001, the NTIS database was no longer available from usgovsearch.

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37534498)

" Thomas the Tank Engine porn."

Rule 34, is there nothing you can't do?

fap,fap,fap...

Re:Google retrieval? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527182)

Actually, it was called Google Desktop (parts of Google Labs and just recently discontinued). It had this functionality five to ten years ago (and Google certainly wasn't the only one).

Google.RTM., while providing a mechanism to search both the internet and the user's hard drive, cannot search both the internet and the user's hard drive simultaneously and provide a single set of search results. Further, Google only allows searches dedicated to video, audio, or images, and does not provide a mechanism for searching for all media types at the same time.

Actually, Google Desktop did search both, did index all media types (even the unknown ones since it even allowed you to write your own indexing plugin), and even your porn (unless you told it to exclude those folders or urls), and it did provide you with a single set of merged search results (if you so desired).

The only thing Google Desktop didn't do was the simultaneous search. Thankfully, Google Desktop was smart enough (even at the time) to pre-index your existing data in advance while your computer is idling, and only waste cpu cycles on un-indexed data only for your most recent stuff.

check USPTO class 725 (2)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525560)

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspc725/sched725.htm [uspto.gov]

Check subclasses 48-53 as well as subclasses 133 and 141.

The office is well aware of this sort of art, there are existing patents which search the interent as well as local sources such as DVD players, PCs, PVRs etc to create combined electronic program guides. They are found in the above sub classes.

this is not news.

Re:check USPTO class 725 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525734)

What would you say if this patent is granted?

Re:check USPTO class 725 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37526286)

Then it would be news. But not now. Thank you come again.

Re:check USPTO class 725 (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529178)

I would wonder why it is currently classifed in the more generic 707 database class instead of class 725 where electronic program guides which search diverse devices (PC, DVR,VCR+internet) in order to assemble a program guide are classed?

Re:check USPTO class 725 (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529240)

It seems the notable feature is the GUI aspects where the results are oriented by QOS or other criteria as required by the independent claims. The likelyhood that 102 art is available is probably low, but would seem like a reasonable 103.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525566)

Isn't this one of those standard nearly obvious ideas that will result in lots of almost applicable prior art?

Even reading the patent it doesn't seem to sound shockingly new, using a search engine or multiple search engines would easily hit their definition of multiple remote databases, which invalidates a few of their claims IMO.

Patents and Litigation Cold War . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525584)

Seriously what can't you patent now a days? Patents were included in the US constitution so that we could INCREASE freedom and ENCOURAGE entrepreneurship and creativity. The current patent system does the EXACT opposite of what was intended. We need to review and correct the Patent system NOW! Things are changing too fast to wait any longer . . . . litigation cold war is not healthy for any one involved - the general public or businesses.

Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525620)

Search "Computer", it then searches a variety of drives, etc.

That should have been enough to invalidate such a patent. But we all know, the Patent Office is like a whorehouse for trolls.

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525684)

Forget Windows! I've been doing this for years and I can only see myself doing more of it as I age.

Where did I leave that DVD?

On the left shelf? No, it's not threre.

On the right shelf? Oh yeah, that's where I left it.

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525898)

> the Patent Office is like a whorehouse for trolls.

So why is it we're the ones getting fucked?

Isn't it obvious.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525938)

How do these patents get past the "Isn't that obvious test"?

Re:Isn't it obvious.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37532330)

How do these patents get past the "Isn't that obvious test"?

That method has been patented and the USPTO couldn't secure a license to the technology.

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526096)

Did you read the actual patent claims, or are you just assuming from the title?

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526308)

Did you? If so then perhaps you could illuminate the situation...

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527060)

At present, the claims only really require searching more than one location and what appears to be consolidation of similar results. Most likely, the claims will get amended to specify searching local and remote locations at the same time, since that's what the spec purports the improvement to be, but it'll likely take some minor implementation detail to make it patentable.

Re:Windows has done this for quite some time.. (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527106)

well, couldn't you claim that the "ls" command has offered this forever? Say you put all your media containing drives in a mount folder of /media, and then did ls -R *.mp3, it would techincally "search" for the file across whatever type of media is mounted.. be it physical hard drives, optical drives, network drives of various mount styles, etc.

Patents are holding progress back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525732)

Companies have entire departments devoted to patenting inane ideas like this so they use them against companies when their product does well. "Oh, that's a nice phone design, but I'm sorry, you just copied over 500 patents. We'll see you in court." At the very least, I suggest software patents be thrown out or have a incredibly short shelf-life.

How does anyone take this seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525772)

Intellectual "property" has never been, nor will it ever be "property". Knowledge will continue to be freely duplicatable. It is not going to become scarce when others use it. Think of it like sunshine. Every form of intellectual so-called "property" is complete bull$#!* perpetuated by lesser men's irrational fears. It's time for some light to be shed on this sore subject.

nothing to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525808)

The company I was working for a couple years ago was searching through metadata and CC/audio data for multiple video sources and I'm aware of an IBM product for searching through the contents of video (e.g. give me videos containing a blue truck) so I'm not seeing whole lot of room here new/patentable stuff. That said I haven't RTFA or RTFP because reading patents, at least for your own field, is a bad idea.

Also it was filled... anyone can file anything it doesn't mean anything. If it was filled provisionally(likely) I don't think anyone from the USPTO even looks at them until a priority date for a real patent needs to be established.

OMG PATENT TROLLS... RTFP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525816)

First things first, a published patent application is not a patent. This thing may not have even been seen by an examiner yet. In the US, a software method patent can take 5 years or more to get. It may get amended or outright rejected and never issue. It's just far too early to tell. Today, you could file a patent for the telephone or light bulb and it would likely publish before you got finally rejected. So step back from the ledge.

Second. We are not yet on a first to file system and the America Invents Act has yet to be implemented.

Third.
RTFP! What is claimed is not simply searching a plurality of sources. What they claimed is much more narrow than that (and actually useful). They claimed not only searching multiple places but organizing, filtering and grouping the search results based on the metadata to provide the best results based on cost, resolution, and picture quality. I don't know of any product or patent filing that has claimed that. Search google for How I Met Your Mother Season 1, Episode 1 and you'll get ~5m results. In videos you get ~10k results. This, theoretically will give you 1 result.

(I own zero Crestron products, and really dislike the company but the people here seem to go nuts the minute any patents are mentioned.)

Re:OMG PATENT TROLLS... RTFP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525950)

The problem here is that Crestron's "idea" is fairly obvious. Making it work is purely an implementation (also: media rights) problem. So, yeah, the functionality would be kind of neat, but they don't deserve any special credit for coming up with the idea of adding useful parameters to a multi-source search.

Re:OMG PATENT TROLLS... RTFP (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526040)

It should return

How I met your mother Season [1|1*], episode [1|1*] which presuming they made more than 10 episodes is obviously more than one :P

Hasn't gnutella done this for years? (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525914)

If even one person had their computer plugged into a TV for a monitor (and how many TV's over the past decade have had VGA, DVI, HDMI, RGB and even Firewire inputs?) then I see this as invalid. Each and every gnutella user had their own database of available files, TV shows and movies could be found on the network in those databases, and be played back on the television display.

Case dismissed!

Go to google.com (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526010)

Search "*.mp3 OR *.avi" - TADA!

The fact win98 would let you search network folders via filetype and I'm supprised anyone even thinks they can patent this.... let me guess - US Patent office?

Google Desktop? (1)

txsable (169665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526018)

Wouldn't Google Desktop Search count as prior art? as of 2006 it was capable of searching multiple computers on a network. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_desktop_search [wikipedia.org]

Comment Subject (Patent Pending) (1)

jacksinn (1136829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526050)

Maybe I'm stupider than I'd like to think or less of a dick than I like to purport I am but I could never come up with all these absurd patents.

HA! I'm going to sue them... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37526238)

I own the patent owning the idea of writing absurd patents,

Since this patent is blatantly absurd they need to pay me millions of simolians.

tYou fail 1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37526596)

Right no3. I tried,

Ok, enough is enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37527068)

We have been warning about patents and how stupid the troll situation is. The USA shot the left foot and we're desperately trying to avoid a second shot in the other foot.

"You're just jealous of my constantly improving aim", says the USAs aiming for the right foot while "first to file" is adopted (Obama is not already a Republican, is he?)

Well, that's it. No metric system (it's French!), no wiser use of patents (we rulz!) and no serious investigation of the M$ comrades (they're very influent, we can do nothing)...

SSDD.

Sorry for the depressive tone, but some things are quite obvious, if the USA was dumb enough to do them in the first place, would it be knowledgeable to get out of that mess? I don't think so, but feel free to correct me... I'll be waiting -- for a time, that is.

Pretty sure... (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527080)

the search options in even Windows XP (I can't remember if the 9x's did it) allows you to pick the locations to search for media (certain drives, folders, etc.. be them networked, optical, hard drives, etc, etc)

prior art at the BBC (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37527556)

I wrote a system that did this for the BBC back in '98. Web based, searched their entire film archive and TV archive, drawing in data from two very distinct data stores (entirely different back-end technologies); I don't think it covered radio too but would've been easily extendable.

Oh well, fucking software patents.

done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37528540)

Old school. I have done it before many years ago (~10 years ago).
I used simple UNIX commands to search for MP3 on everyone's PC in the office(s), the Server, backup tapes, and the server's located in another city. Yeah it was back in the Napster days and the company wanted to make sure 'none of of that pirated shit was on the corporate systems'.

pfffffftt! (1)

jmcvetta (153563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37537756)

I just patented farting with one's thumb stuck up one's ass.

Seriously, when will this fucktardation end?

Next election, vote Pirate. Coming soon to a polity near you...

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