Monday, 7 December 2009

Top 10 Bogus technology patents

PatentRemember the application filed by the University of Mississippi Medical Centre for a patent over the use of turmeric (haldi) powder as a wound-healing agent? Think the patent claim could not have been more absurd?

Though a patent claim over turmeric was surely among the weirdest ones, there are many more egregious patents filed in the technology space. US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) has launched a drive against what it calls bogus patents that suppress non-commercial and small-business innovation and limit free expression online.

Here's looking into EEF's list of top 10 bogus patents.

Acacia Technologies
Acacia TechnlogiesPatent covers the sending and receiving of streaming audio and video over the Internet.

EFF says: "Laughably broad patent would cover everything from online distribution of home movies to scanned documents and MP3s. Threatening dozens of small companies, including many home-grown adult Websites. Infringement campaign threatens to chill freedom of expression by limiting small companies' and individuals' ability to stream their content online."

AccerisIn combination, the patents cover hardware, software, and processes for implementing voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) using analog telephones as endpoints. Put simply, these patents cover telephone calls over the Internet.

EFF says: "Overbroad patents cover nearly all current implementations of VOIP, an emerging technology, thus stifling innovation and use of VOIP as a tool of free speech. Crippling the progress of small VOIP developers could undermine ease of communication online."

Ideaflood (Hoshiko)
Ideaflood (Hoshiko) This is a system for allowing users of a network to create and retrieve information from a personally-named subdomain, such as ""

EFF says: "Ideaflood built their entire business model on bullying smaller companies into paying licensing fees for overbroad software patents. Threatened many small Website hosting companies. Threatened community site LiveJournal, whose 3 million users each have their own subdomain, and thus standing in the way of LJ users' ability to speak freely in groups."
Test.comA method for administering tests, lessons, assessments, and surveys on the Internet, scoring them, and maintaining records of test scores online.

EFF says: "Overbroad patent threatens to chill market for distance learning, online books that include tests, online certification tests and software testing done via the Internet. Company reps have told the press that wants to license or sell its patent to a large company who can wrestle more licensing fees out of groups who do online testing."

Firepond/Polaris A system that uses natural language processing to respond to customers' online inquiries by email.

EFF says: "Patent uses basic natural language processing techniques taught in introductory computer science courses. ... Firepond is aggressively threatening and filing suit against companies in the natural language processing software space.

Filed suit against California company Banter for infringement, eventually strong-arming Banter into licensing Firepond's patents."

Clear Channel/Live Nation
Clear Channel/Live Nation A system and method for recording live performances (eg music concerts), editing them into tracks during the performance, and recording them to media (eg CDs) within minutes of the performance ending.

EFF says: "Claiming to own a monopoly on all-in-one technologies that produce post-concert live recordings on digital media. Forcing bands to use Clear Channel's CD-burning systems instead of their own or those of small startup companies. Threatening to sue anyone who produces post-show live recordings at any of its 100+ venues in the US, inhibiting investment and innovation in the post-event content distribution market."

Sheldon F Goldberg
Sheldon F Goldberg Real-time multi-player online games, including card games. Claim 92 of the patent alleges to cover real-time updates to ladder rankings for multi-player online games.

EFF says: "Threatening small online gaming Websites. ... Claiming to own basic online gaming architecture."

NeoMedia Technologies
NeoMedia Technologies A system and method for using identification codes to access particular computers on a network, including the use of bar codes to lookup information about products via a network.

EFF says: "Threatening small info-aggregating companies such as ScanBuy, AirClic and LScan Technologies. Also, a potential threat to Barcr, an open-source, alpha quality bar-code scanner for Nokia's 60 series camera phones."

Nintendo A software emulator for emulating a handheld video game platform such as the Game Boy.

EFF says: "Threatens reverse-engineering of video games to promote interoperability and emulation by hobbyists and entrepreneurs like Crimson Fire Entertainment and Gambit Studios."

Seer Systems
Seer Systems A system for joining different musical data types together in a file, distributing them over the internet, and then playing that file.

EFF says: "Currently threatening small companies trying to innovate in this field, like Beatnik. Threatening to compromise at least two public media standards-MPEG4 and XMF."

For the original article, refer:


Anonymous said...

EFF challenge of NeoMedia patent was denied by the USPTO:

keyvan.sadeghi said...

And Scanbuy agreed to pay neomedia!

NeilPeart said...

Who's the dumbass who wrote this article? NeoMedia AND the PTO kicked EFF's ass. Scanbuy and other are now licensing from NeoMedia. Please do some DD before misleading people.

Karthick N said...

@ Anonymous & keyvan.sadeghi : This is not me who created this. Its EFF's list of top 10 bogus patents.

@ NeilPeart : Whatever u say may be right. But its not me who created this list. I've clearly stated that its EFF's list of top 10 bogus patents.

Also don't scold the person who wrote this article. If u want, go to EFF and mess with their asses. Got it!?!
For the original article, refer:

Anonymous said...

Thee EFF is funded by M$, which soon, too, will be soon paying NEOMEDIA for their ROCK solid patents!....what a moron the author and the EFF are!!!!!!...hahahhahahah