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weiserfireman writes "We received a letter today from a company claiming they are the licensing agent for some US Patents, 7986426, 7477410, 6771381, 6185590.
They are claiming the integration of scanning and document management into our workflows violates their patents and we have to license their technology as an end user.
An example of an infringing technology is the use of an HP MFP scanner to send an email or scan a document to a network folder or Microsoft Sharepoint.
I am pretty sure that these patents could be invalidated by prior art. I've worked with document management systems since 1999. But my company is so small that a patent fight as an enduser of these technologies is not financially feasible.
I have started the process of trying to get HP's Legal Team involved, does Slashdot have any other suggestions?" Link to Original Source top
weiserfireman (917228) writes "For the first time in our company's 60 year history, we are going to be building a new facility from scratch.
We are a CNC Machine shop with 40 employees and 20 CNC machines, crammed into a 12,000 sq foot building. We are going to build a new 30,000 sq foot building.
I am the only IT person. I support all the computer systems, as well as all the fire/security/phone systems. My Boss has asked for my input on what infrastructure to include in the new building to support current and future technology.
1st on my list is a telecommunications equipment room. Our current building doesn't have one.
I have been researching this topic on the Internet, and I have a list of a lot of different things, all of them are nice, but I know I am going to have a limited budget.
If you were in my shoes, what priorities what features would you design into the building?" top
The case revolves around an AT&T patent for voice recognition software. The code was included in Microst Windows. Microsoft already agreed to damages for infringement for copies of Windows distributed in the United States. AT&T argues that Microsoft also owes them for damages from copies of Windows distributed overseas. The key in this case is that there are no foreign patents involved, only a US one. The copies of the Windows were produced overseas from "Golden Disks" provided by Microsoft from the US.
AT&T claims that because the code and the Golden Disks originated in the US, all subsequent foreign copies infringe upon their US Patent. It is a novel case with potential liabilty for more companies than just Microsoft.
There is some interesting exchanges between the judges and the lawyers. It is clear that the judges haven't thought about software very much, but are adept and building anologies. The Lawyers didn't seem to really understand the technology and their anologies were very funny.
At one point one of the justices said "We've never ruled on software patents before, don't we have to rule that software is patentable to decide this case?" The lawyers desperately tried to steer him away from that question. Both sides have too much to lose to want an answer.
Based on the questioning and the laws presented, I don't think AT&T has a chance. At best Microsoft is liable for the master copies provide to overseas manufacturers, but not any subsequent copies that are produced overseas."