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Patent Troll Sues Google, AOL Over Search 'Snippets' and Ad Serving Tech

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the excuse-me-have-you-seen-my-rent? dept.

America Online 83

First time accepted submitter WindyWonka writes "Google and AOL were sued for patent infringement Thursday, accused of violating two former British Telecom patents via Google's search 'snippets' and by Google AdSense and Advertising.com ad serving technology. Incredibly, the lawsuit by apparent patent troll Suffolk Technologies asserts that every Google search result 'snippet' display violates one patent, and that another really broad server patent is violated every time Google and AOL serve up ads."

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Oh no! Google AND AOL? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40277779)

They're patent violators? How will they live down the shame??

Especially AOL, with their sterling reputation that has made them a household word.

Re:Oh no! Google AND AOL? (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277859)

AOL? American Organization of Lamers?

Re:Oh no! Google AND AOL? (1)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294669)

Almost On Line

Funding? (4, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277787)

Who is behind the funding of this Patent Troll?

Re:Funding? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40277803)

Consumers. Thanks to politicians. Thanks to patent lawyers.

Re:Funding? (4, Informative)

stevew (4845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277805)

I looked at the Server patent - it essentially patents download files via the web. It is bogus beyond all recognition! It was filed in 2000 - I would imagine that gopher, or some of the other earlier web technologies take care this patent nicely, i.e.. prior art exist in spades.

Re:Funding? (4, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278037)

I think the difference is in incorporating an "identfiication signal" in the original request that is then processed and determines the file to return. So it's not just requesting "foo.txt" and returning it. But, I would think any program that processes GET or POST data and returns a file based on those "identification signals" would be a violation or prior art for this "invention".

Re:Funding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278901)

Its pretty much a patent, as far as I can tell, on serving up images based on referer (I guess thats a "signal").

So yeah, my apache anti-leaching script in the 90s (That substituted a photo of an erect dick whenever an image was leached) was a total patent thievery acomplished via time-travel or something.

Re:Funding? (4, Interesting)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280089)

So yeah, my apache anti-leaching script in the 90s (That substituted a photo of an erect dick whenever an image was leached) was a total patent thievery acomplished via time-travel or something.

Did you publish it? If so, push the link to Google's lawyers (dropping it on an anti-patent site like Groklaw will do, if you don't want to talk directly to Google). Everyone will appreciate that. It might seem stupid, but it can be really hard to find examples of obvious ideas from the distant past.

Re:Funding? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280171)

If so, push the link to Google's lawyers (dropping it on an anti-patent site like Groklaw will do, if you don't want to talk directly to Google).

You make it sound as if it was easy to talk directly to google, but that people might not want to do it.

I have 2 subjects about which I'd like to talk to google: a persistent spammer at googlegroups.com, and a couple of suggestions for their bot. But so far I've found no e-mail address nor working phone number where to contact them...

Re:Funding? (2)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280257)

Re:Funding? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280557)

... and how is that supposed to help?

Re:Funding? (4, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278067)

The patent covers using the page the request was made from to decide what file you should get. The original patent was filed in the UK in April 1996 and discusses the HTTP protocol and the referrer address, but RFC 1945 [ietf.org] was published a month later and defined the HTTP protocol (including the misspelling of referer). Perhaps this information was added to the US version of the patent when it was filed in March 1997.

This seems like something they could get a few bucks each out of the various blogs that forbid hotlinking by serving up goatse whenever the referer URL for a picture is some other site. But I guess they can get more than a few bucks out of Google and AOL, even if it's not really clear how they infringe on the patent.

Re:Funding? (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278919)

Its also possibly one of the most obvious patents imaginable. I honestly dont understand how patent examiners read these things and reject them on spot with a note saying something like "What the fuck is wrong with your brain, idiot?"

Re:Funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40281987)

They leave stuff like that for the courts to decide, they just check and make sure the paperwork is in order and that there's enough information on the patent to grant it.

Re:Funding? (2)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40284803)

Then, what do we need patent clerks for? We could outsource that function to the same people who fucking process insurance claims or drivers' license applications. If they're not going to do any fucking critical thinking, then let's find some minimum-wage hacks to not think in their stead. Saves us some money, right?

Re:Funding? (2)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40284289)

You're assuming they read them. Personally, I think they just blindly rubber stamp everything that comes across their desk.

Re:Funding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279183)

Just read the claims. Everything else is fluff. (Seriously, throw away everything but the claims; pretend the pretty english text and the pictures and background and stuff don't even exist).

FTP seems to be solid prior art over claim #1. That's all you need to invalidate. I think we're done.

Re:Funding? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280957)

These things are not quite as easy; even if an independent claim is invalidated, dependent claims may still be valid. You want to have lots of prior art which matches each individual claim. Eventually, if just a few claims are left over, the patent may be made invalid as insufficiently original, but remember the applicants often get to rewrite it to avoid the prior art.

Referer header is unarguably Prior Art (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40281523)

Although the RFC was only published a month later, it had been circulating in draft and discussion forms for over a year before it was published, and the notion of the Referer header and its use by servers in deciding what content to return was already public knowledge by the time of both patent application and publication.

In short, this is yet another fraudulent patent where someone has claimed to invent something that was already standard practice. The patent-holder and applicants should be prosecuted for attempting to obtain money by deception. The egregious criminal bastards just took something that was being developed in a public standards process, wrote it up in generic and abstract terms, and rush-filed a patent just ahead of the completion of the standards process. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

Re:Funding? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40290029)

This seems like something they could get a few bucks each out of the various blogs that forbid hotlinking by serving up goatse whenever the referer URL for a picture is some other site.


Goatse, patent 37404666: a virtual mutilated anatomy device to dissuade users from continuing an unwanted action by inducing psychological trauma to maximize the memory and influence of the warning for the lifetime of the target user.

1994 (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292149)

Jared Rhine, then at Harvey Mudd College, wrote a feedback form CGI that took the "Referer:" header into account to allow the feedback form to be dropped onto various web pages, and caused the content to change based on where it was referred from. He did this in 1994.

Kee Hinckley at Utopia, Inc. documents the specific process he used in an email dated 30 May 1995.

You need to be careful there. Redirection is often used to do some
processing at point A and the continue on to point B. You don't want to
cache *that* result. It's not always as the result of a form submission
either. In fact we do this when people point a Lycos, Yahoo, Infoseek or
OpenText search at one of our mailing lists. We check the Referer field,
figure out what you were searching for in the particular file you are
hitting, and then redirect you to the same document, but this time with
parameters (including a #xxx) which will take you to the right point in the
document. Caching that would make it impossible for the user to ever go
directly to the top of the document.

That's probably prior enough art to invalidate in the UK as well.

-- Terry

Re:Funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279057)

Prior art doesn't matter in software patents (ie. take some common process and add "using a computer").

Re:Funding? (1)

speedplane (552872) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279323)

I assume you are referring to the Patent Number 6,081,835. It was issued in 2000, but it was filed in March 1997. Further, it claims priority to an April 1996 English patent. Therefore, to invalidate it, Google/AOL will have to find something prior to April 1995, one year before the priority date. I'm sure the patent is bogus, but it isn't too easy to beat.

Re:Funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279811)

WebCrawler (from 1994).

Re:Funding? (3, Interesting)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280663)

So it was granted in 2000, and they sat on it for 12 years, let other people use their "invention" and only _then_ do they sue. Maybe patents should be like trademarks(?) - if you don't defend them, you lose them? It's not like they could argue they didn't know Google or AOL existed until now ...

Re:Funding? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40282347)

Why is there no feedback to punish the patent department for allowing such idiotic patents?

Re:Funding? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40277831)

This appears to be British Telecom - aka BT, the main telecoms provider in the UK. They are a huge organisation that got broken up into smaller separate business units for wholesale, business, retail (internet phone) and network maintenance. They have a large 2000-3000 person R&D (at least there used to be lots of R&D there are few years back, but I'm not so sure now) center at Adastral Park in the county of *Suffolk* (just south of Cambridge/Cambridgeshire in the East of England). I assume either BT has setup Suffolk Technologies, or someone close to them has bought the patents to pursue. If it is BT then it will be a well-funded operation.

I think the broad server patent is rubbish. But, the snippet patent IMHO is a legitimate patent.

Re:Funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40277923)

>...the snippet patent IMHO is a legitimate patent.

So... you don't suppose Google could whip out prior art on snippet generation from before 2001?

Re:Funding? (3, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277925)

Yeah, the snippets patent actually does look legit. I doubt that Google's process exactly replicates all of their claims, though, even though the end result looks the same. Without knowing Google's algorithm, I guess ST has to assume Google may be using the same process or figure their lawyers can make a case regardless of reality.

Re:Funding? (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277947)

I'm reading through the snippet patent's claims, and while it's not as broad as the server patent, it doesn't seem like an invention to me either. It's automatic summarization plus some ranking/distribution statistics. Automatic summarization is a really old research field, dating back to the early days of information theory. Why is applying it here novel and non-obvious to someone skilled in the art?

Re:Funding? (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40277997)

I'm not an expert or even really famliar with "automatic summarization", so I don't know if it's obvious or not. The writeup accompanying the patent seems to be a pretty specific algorithm with ways of slicing up data, assigning weights, ranking, etc. That isn't reflected in the broader claims, though. So it may not be a good patent, but it at least looks like some legitimate work went into it. Far better than most "on a computer device" or "on the Internet" patent trolls...

Altavista predates the snippets patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279935)

The snippets patent isn't legit, Altavista and Lycos BOTH PREDATE this patent and both had snippets.

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

Even without going to terminals searches like ORACLE and BBS searches, this patent, patented something that already existed and once again shows how bogus the patent system has become.

Patents are supposed to be inventions, yet here,yet again, its just someone documenting the techniques of the day.

Re:Altavista predates the snippets patent (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280147)

It's not enough that they had snippets; they had to have snippets which worked in the same way as described in the patent. More importantly they need to have either patented how it worked or published that. If you do know such a publication putting it up would be really helpful to someone.

Re:Altavista predates the snippets patent (1)

SandorZoo (2318398) | more than 2 years ago | (#40281285)

The snippets patent isn't legit, Altavista and Lycos BOTH PREDATE this patent and both had snippets.

Altavista only showed the first line or two of the matching web page. One of the reasons I switched from Altavista to Google was Google showed you the context around your search term, which I found more useful than Altavista's summary. Of course I lost out on Altavista's "near" operator.

Snippet patent prior art (3, Informative)

DRichardHipp (995880) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278245)

Showing the use of a search term in context (i.e. showing a "snippet") is a feature of a concordance [wikipedia.org] - a kind of document that has been produced manually for hundreds of years. So there seems to be lots of prior art.

Re:Snippet patent prior art (3, Informative)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278873)

Showing the use of a search term in context (i.e. showing a "snippet") is a feature of a concordance [wikipedia.org] - a kind of document that has been produced manually for hundreds of years.
So there seems to be lots of prior art.

Ahh, but this patent seems to use the 'on a computer' trump card, thus invalidating whatever medieval concordance you may reference.

Re:Snippet patent prior art (3, Insightful)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279857)

Why is there not a 'Sad Truth' moderation?

Re:Snippet patent prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279959)

Showing the use of a search term in context (i.e. showing a "snippet") is a feature of a concordance [wikipedia.org] - a kind of document that has been produced manually for hundreds of years. So there seems to be lots of prior art.

Ahh, but this patent seems to use the 'on a computer' trump card, thus invalidating whatever medieval concordance you may reference.

In 1988, I used a Bible concordance on an IBM PS/2. It had snippets.

Re:Funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278927)

Isn't showing matches in context something grep has done forever?

-C NUM, -NUM, --context=NUM
                            Print NUM lines of output context. Places a line containing a
                            group separator (--) between contiguous groups of matches. With
                            the -o or --only-matching option, ...

Geography 101 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40280097)

Adastral Park is in the Village of Martlesham Heath near Ipswich.
There is no way that it is 'just south of Cambridge' in the same way that London is 'just south of Cambridge' or New York is just south of Albany.
Ipswich is a good hour away down the A14 from Cambridge(accidents with HGV's permitting). You are going SE almost as far as you can go without getting your feet wet in the North Sea.

BT do still have a research outfir there but it is a mere shadow of its former self. I worked there for a while in the early 1990's.
BT have spun off a whole load of non essential businesses. It wouldn't surprise me if this 'troll' company is just a one man and a dog outfit where the man used to work for BT and got laid off.
There was a time when I worked for BT that the mantra in Martlesham (As it was called then) was 'Patent Everything'. BT had been hit by some stupid patent suits that delays us getting SDHC services into operation. We'd bought some chips from a supplier. The chips used some patented tech but the patent owner decided that one bite of the apple was not enough and came after us, the end user. In the end it got resolved. I heard through the grapevine that BT Had bought the company outright but I can't confirm that as by the time this was sorted, I'd left BT and moved on.

Re:Funding? (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40282097)

BT's R&D department derives from GPO Research Centre Dollis Hill, founded 1914, which built the Colossus computer.... so they do have some history of innovation

But this looks like a company setup to be a Patent Troll using some offloaded patents BT couldn't be bothered with ...

Re:Funding? (2)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279885)

I wish that if they can't get rid of software patents, they could just change them so that the most someone could be liable for is the possible percentage of lost revenue for the plaintiff. In other words, if the plaintiff is a troll and has no product the most they could sue for is $0, because they haven't lost any sales.

Re:Funding? (1)

Therad (2493316) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280191)

That wouldn't help much. They would just create the necessary code to make it work and set a bogus pricetag of "One million dollars!"

Re:Funding? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40283141)

easy to fix require that it have been SOLD at that price a significant number of times.

so you are saying that this code is worth $%BigNum% well when has it SOLD for $%BigNUm%??

Re:Funding? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40291533)

You do realize this defeats half the purpose of the patent system.
The patent system is designed to protect the inventor (to encourage them to invent more). Lets assume a little guy events a process to create a widget. He patents the process. Then begins to gather money to start producing the widgets. But that takes, time, maybe several years. Meanwhile daddy warbucks comes along, and builds the widget, because he can afford to.
According to you, the inventor is owed $0. Because he doesn't have a product to sell (and never will, now that Daddy Warbucks is churning them out

Wanna get rich fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40277939)

Patent trolls. Just another manifestation oh human greed and stupidity. It makes me wonder why they're allowed to exist in the first place. Trolls, not humans.

Re:Wanna get rich fast? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278047)

It makes me wonder why they're allowed to exist in the first place. Trolls, not humans.

To be honest, I'd just as well apply the first of the quoted sentences to cover most of humanity, too.

Re:Wanna get rich fast? (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278051)

It makes me wonder why they're allowed to exist in the first place. Trolls, not humans.

I'm pretty sure the trolls are asking themselves the same question about us... :-)

Re:Wanna get rich fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279793)

The patent offices and their unqualified employees are to blame for this. The trolls are only doing what the system has granted them to do, and actually it's what patent is meant for.

Re:Wanna get rich fast? (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279977)

Does not mean trolls aren't to blame either. Even if you can do something does not mean you should.

end the fucking madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278073)

you're killing the goose that laid the golden egg with these shitty patents!

Enough already (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278087)

This never-ending series of X sues Y articles bores the shit out of me. Constantly presenting them implies the average technology reader does, or should, have an abiding interest in these corporate hijinks, these capitalist dick-length spats, the outcomes of which are of concern chiefly to powerful, monied interests and their lawyers.

The degree to which our attention is focused on this garbage shows how much our souls are being sucked dry. Science, math, even technology offers much more than this kind of crap.

Re:Enough already (2)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278107)

My prediction : 201x will be referred to as the decade when the software patent and copyright bubble burst.

Re:Enough already (4, Funny)

MrLint (519792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278251)

You sir/madam are overly optimistic.

Re:Enough already (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40284947)

No, this will be referred to as the era in which developers became slaves and lawyers became their masters.

Sit back and get some popcorn.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278643)

If this one actually goes to court, it's gonna get good. I love watching Google stomp on patent trolls.

Re:Enough already (2)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278699)

Ditto, but the results of all the crapola can and does affect what we use how we use it - be its drugs, electronics, software, and our access to and participation on the net.

Do I want to be aware of this stuff? I'd prefer not to be but it's part of the sea in which I swim, kinda hard to avoid. Should I be aware of it? I dunno, man, some days I really don't know.

"Science, math, even technology offers much more than this kind of crap." Yes indeedy-do. Which make them interesting and useful, and also fertile ground for litigious types especially under current law. Just doing, reviewing, and publishing research is a mess, let alone trying to make something useful.

Hey, you want to make a better mousetrap? Great! Hire a team of patent attorneys, wait three years, and you're left with an open-source robot built with open source 3-D printed parts and stuff from the hardware store, using open-source software, wielding a stick that didn't come from a GM'ed tree, and a piece of cheese.

Re:Enough already (2)

mwfischer (1919758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40282385)

Yes let's ignore the problem.

It'll go away.

Re:Enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40282753)

Unfortunately for people who really are trying to innovate, they have to deal with this kind of B.S. it is hugely demotivating factor. It will cause exactly the reverse of what the laws were put in place to do in the first place. Which is benefit society at large by rewarding individuals.

Right now, none of the patent or copywrite laws to either. They benefit companies with the legal resources to attack or defend, and stagnate the markets.

So yah, its relevant. Unfortunately people are not paying attention to what is actually going on... A fun, if silly analogy... you can ignore it all and dance around in the poppy fields all you want, but at the end of the day, bucket loads of opium are still getting produced by people backed by the CIA....

When will it stop? (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278125)

When Vernor Vinge wrote True Names in 1981, even he couldn't foresee the coming-to-a-world-near-you technological singularity would be held up, not by warfare or massive economic disaster, but by simple antiquated litigation.

Re:When will it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279139)

But Douglas Adams did foresee it - it's not so hard to see.

Good luck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278137)

Google has a ridiculously good record of winning against patent trolls, and I have no doubt this will be another one that they vanquish. You'd think companies would know by now to stay away.

Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278139)

They need to modify the patents so that unless you are doing something useful with it (actually creating something based on it) that the patent runs out within x number of years. This is ridiculous.

Re:Patents (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278293)

That's not the problem. Patents already do expire in X number of years.

The problem is twofold:

1. "X" is an eternity in an industry where "obsolete" means "more than six months old"

2. The patents are being granted on utter bullshit 'inventions,' bogus 'business processes,' and algorithms, and are not properly researched or vetted before being rubber stamped.

Your solution really doesn't solve anything.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278607)

1. Well if the invention is obsolete after 6 months, why do people try and use the patented invention after 6 months?

2. This is more of an issue.

Re:Patents (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278753)

Inventions are cumulative. There are inventions that are hundreds or thousands of years old that are still used as part of modern technology. However, the base invention itself is obsolete.

Re:Patents (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279895)

Since they often use broad wording, you see people being sued for internet inventions over a patent that was intended to cover a fax machine etc.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279011)

See http://i3pm.org/files/misc/trolls_and_the_five_forces.pdf on the role of non-performing entities.

Re:Patents (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#40279239)

yes. the macbook air design patent story [slashdot.org] surprised me. i think it's probably legitimate as a design patent, but really it should have been granted 4-5 years ago and expired at least 2-3 years ago. these lifetimes are silly.

Re:Patents (1)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40281929)

I would like to challenge this idea of patent troll anyway, that it is somehow immoral to only be involved in patent enforcement whilst not be responsible for bringing related products to market. Based on that definition, is it also immoral to have a separate department or subsidiary of a reputable parent company specifically for handling patents?

Or what about if you are an employee where who is only tasked with dealing with patents all day long - are you somehow an evil patent troll minion?

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with abstracting out a concept, for example we prefer to deal in money rather than trading eggs and bags of flour with each other. The term patent troll seems to be thrown around a lot here on slashdot, yet I see a contradiction with what I believe is a community wholly comfortable in dealing with the abstract.

Lawyers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278195)

Someone really needs to find something more constructive for these lawyers to do, like lining the bottom of the oceans.

Re:Lawyers (4, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40278413)

But there are so many of them they'll increase the sea levels... unless the increased mass pushes the sea floor down further making the oceans deeper...

Re:Lawyers (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40281025)

"Here, we built a new dining room for all lawyers...don't mind that lever at the entrance and that the floor is one big retracting bridge..."

Re:Lawyers (1)

AcMNPV (2347552) | more than 2 years ago | (#40282241)

Someone really needs to find something more constructive for these lawyers to do, like lining the bottom of the oceans.

Why do you hate sea creatures that much, did they ever do anything bad to you?

How do you stop it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40278625)

If you said to these people, "If you lose, you will be fined 1000x the cost you are seeking", it wouldn't make a difference because these are normally shelf companies set up for the sole purpose of hurting society at large.

In this instance, noone re-enforced the patents quickly enough, so they should be dismissed fairly easily. However, there will be little consequence to the a**hats driving this charade, but there will be lengthy headaches for the companies defending themselves.

We all need to lobby our local official to fix the system, starting from the registering and granting of patents. We've got some great collective minds and muscle to tackle this problem.

Just another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279119)

Just another reason why trolls should be forced to live under bridges. "Anyone can speak troll, all you have to do is point and grunt". Trolls are very strong, but also very stupid. They are always trying to get anything shiny and of value from unsuspecting travellers, and will try and stop people and force money from them. Remember, the reason trolls like dark places is that if sunlight is shone on them, they crumble and die. Trolls can be eradicated by baiting them, and getting them to go after shiny things like gold and money. If you can get them to run out from under the bridge on a cloudy day when they aren't suspecting anything, they can be far from where they like to hide. When exposed to the full light of day (and truth) trolls die quickly. Get these trolls to go after shiny gold. When they think the gold is within reach, they will run to get it. Its at that time that you shine the light (of truth) on them. They will be caught in the light and die their troll like death. Its one of the reasons trolls live under bridges: if they don't have to go far and do much to 'shake money out of people' they are happiest. Threats are their big thing, along with willing payers.

Wow, I'm thinking that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40279213)

some of my websites may violate those patents as well. For example, (it's a message board), you hover over a post and it shows a snippet of the post without having to open the whole thing. By creating that 'snippet' using an 'algorithm', wouldn't that fall under it?

Secondly, the other patent uses a 'signal' from the referring page to determine what to send... my board software uses query_string 'signals' to determine what pages to 'send'... gosh. Could it be any more broad?

What a f'ing troll.

This is where patents maybe a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40280061)

We're so bombarded with adds that hopefully the patent system will put a stop to anyone trying to advertise. I'm sick and tired of commercials and advertisements. Lets all obtain patents sue advertisers for infringement.

Re:This is where patents maybe a good thing (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40281033)

Welcome to the world of AdBlock! Or alternatively, Userstyles or Greasemonkey...whatever floats your boat.

They've patented math... (3, Informative)

rayharris (1571543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40280987)

If you go read the patent [google.com] , there are two things to note.

First, is that the patent provides very explicit flow charts that describe the algorithm that generates the summary. All Google and AOL have to do to win is show that they generate their summaries using a different algorithm.

Second, is that the patent is for an algorithm to calculate which section should be shown in a summary. You cannot patent algorithms [wikipedia.org] . The patent shouldn't have been awarded in the first place.

I hate the USPTO and I hold a (hardware) patent.

The 132 patent doesn't teach enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40282551)

Strategy 1
If BT had really known then how to build a search engine, they would be Google.
        They had a big head start in resources.
              But they didn't and they ain't.

Part of the reason is that they didn't know how to build what the 132 patent 'teaches' at scale.

Strategy 2
Claim 1 describes a general method for making a concordance with an 'apparatus'.
It seems likely that the algorithm has been implemented with the 'apparatus' being a group of monks.

Disposing of Trolls (1)

Summitlake (2487230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40284875)

Sounds to me like the trolls think they have a patent on all methods of wiping one's nose, or picking up a piece of paper and putting it into a waste basket. . Grind up trolls and market them as dog food.
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