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City Caller ID hit with Patent Infringement

pyr02k1 (1640167) writes | more than 4 years ago

Patents 3

pyr02k1 (1640167) writes "The developer of a free Android application that looks up a callers city location by the phone number is being threatened with Patent Infringement by Cequint. The software in question does a simple lookup by the incoming numbers zip code to tell where the caller is located. Cequint claims to hold 2 patents on the ability to perform the action in question, despite the information in question being freely available information. The City Caller ID application has since been pulled from the Android Marketplace. The Developers post is located at http://techdirt.com/blog.php?company=cequint&edition=techdirt and the patents are http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=ZWUKAAAAEBAJ&dq=6353664 and http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=QIR_AAAAEBAJ&dq=7200212 ... when something like this happens, where can a small developer turn?"

3 comments

EFF (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31313252)

The EFF is the natural place to turn. This is clearly patent assholism (um, I mean "trolling"). There is nothing original or innovative about that system, so it shouldn't have been awarded a patent. EFF might be of help getting it sorted out. EPIC might also be of some help.

Re:EFF (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31313656)

Unless it really was innovative or original, of course.

I've had a cell phone for a decade and a half or so, now; none of them ever were able to deduce the city of the caller by themselves. That, is, of course, until I installed City Caller ID on my Droid. And while the app makes perfect sense and seems obvious, nobody had done this for me before.

So, as sad as I am that the app is dead (actually: it still works fine, as long as I never, ever update it again), I'm not particularly surprised that the mechanism is patented.

Just because it makes good sense and is easy to do does not mean that nobody should have a patent on it. The simplest inventions are often the best, and that's exactly the sort of thing that patents are intended for.

Re:EFF (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31314078)

That's the whole point. If it is something that is obvious to someone of reasonable intelligence who knows the technology (actually, especially if they DON'T know the technology), then it is not supposed to be patentable.
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