Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some more primitive patents, and intel from Linuxgram

Look, I love scrutinizing pedantically software patents. There are many of them, so many stupid ones, and the pickings are aplenty. But to be fair to the software examining corps at the PTO, patent quality is a problem across the board. And it will remain a problem across the board until the PTO, Congress, ABA/AIPLA, and more importantly, corporate America, DECIDE TO TAKE PATENT QUALITY SERIOUSLY. And yes, ANY PATENT NOT USING THE JEPSON FORMAT SHOULD BE A PRIORI INVALID. At least 99% of everything is an improvement. So in this spirit, here are some more idiotic patents. "Decontaminate something, compare it to a control something" United States Patent 6,428,746 Filed: February 4, 2000 What is claimed is: 1. A method for determining an efficacy of a decontamination procedure, the method comprising the steps of: providing at least one test object and at least one control object; contaminating multiple sites on each of the at least one test object and the at least one control object with a known amount of an inoculum comprising organisms; performing the decontamination procedure on the at least one test object but not on the at least one control object; recovering the microorganisms from each of those respective contaminated sites on the at least one decontaminated test object and the at least one contaminated control object; comparing a number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the at least one decontaminated test object with a number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the at least one contaminated control object; and deeming the decontamination procedure effective when the number of microorganisms recovered from each site of the test object is at least approximately a 3 log reduction of the number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the control object. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein said at least one test object and said at least one control object are substantially identical prior to performing said method. 3. The method of claim 2, wherein said at least one test object and said at least one control object are surgical instruments. inoculum comprising organisms - at least say organisms comprising inoculum, but it can be construed rather literally, and self-limiting, while being vague - double disservice to one's self. The inoculum has no precedent here, and the way it reads, it is heretofore unclaimed inoculum that comprises organisms - which is not what they intended (in their ignorance). deeming - this is an arbitrarily ambiguous action - it never describes an action of a system or a group of users. The users rather carry our registering, associating, subscribing, but not deeming. Deeming belongs in Shakespeare. Patent a camera all over again Here is another gem. Note that some of the claims claim any camera made in the last one hundred years, or at least every disposable camera. U.S. Patent No. 6522835 9. A lens-fitted photographic film package comprising: a body; a lens element within said body; a film element housing; a detachable film cartridge within said film element housing; a film element within said detachable film cartridge; and a rear door attached to said body and enclosing said detachable film cartridge. This claim was allowed on the first action with no amendments and no prior art cited. Access-method-independent exchange using a communication primitive Finally, the latest patent to scare everyone on the Internet. Uh-Oh. Hold on to Your Wallet. Charlie's Back with More Proof that He Owns the Patent on Web Services By Maureen O'Gara of LinuxGram Charlie Northrup, the guy in New Jersey whose prior art on what looks to be Web services dates back to 1994 and appears to trump anybody else's IP, has gotten another patent. God knows it wasn't easy. The US Office of Patents and Trademarks pored over his application simply forever, comparing it to other like-minded patents. It found nothing that would disallow it, certainly nothing held by any member of W3C, and just granted the patent the other day. Patent number 6,546,413, which bears the title "Access Method Independent Exchange Using a Communication Primitive", expands on Charlie's key 5,850,518 patent, otherwise known simply as 518, filed when the World Wide Web was just a baby and nobody else was thinking much about Web services. It's the third extension Charlie has gotten. The other ones were patents number 6,397,254 and 6,421,705. To knock Charlie's patents out of the box, somebody would have to have filed for a Web services-resembling patent in late 1993. The new patent contains 40 claims that basically cover any service provider providing a service. It also throws users a few curves. Like 518, it is good as of December 12, 1994. The 518 patent is huge, rife with implications and could theoretically compromise any number of technologies depending on how it's, hum, interpreted. It's all about the automated discovery and connection of Web services though the word "Web" was never used in the filing since the Web didn't exist back then outside of research circles but 518 describes how to connect to a service using TCP/IP so it doesn't matter, it anticipates Web services. Naturally, it's no fun holding such cards without playing them. So Charlie is setting up an LLC, a limited liability partnership, that the patents will be transferred to. The lawyers should have the LLC up and running, so to speak, in the next few days. Charlie won't have all that much to do with it. It's not his sort of thing. He's going to keep to the technology side. The LLC may involve big-time business types and, of course, lawyers - maybe three firms worth of them eventually. It'll be up to the LLC to decide what to do with the IP, Charlie says, trying to keep the thing at arm's length. What that appears to mean is that the unnamed LLC will seek to license the stuff, which in turn may come down to suing people it thinks are infringing. Charlie doesn't like to talk in terms of suing people, but says it may be advantageous to Web services players such as IBM, Microsoft, BEA, Sun and the service providers to have a license. The service providers could be practically anybody but it looks like it may behoove financial institutions and folks trafficking in multimedia - broadcast, audio and video - to check things out. Charlie suggests that a license might also be helpful in mitigating the liabilities of companies being sued by other companies for some sort of Web services infringement. The LLC lawyers are starting to work on what are called "claim charts" that track alleged infringement. Licensing terms are still being thrashed out. Meanwhile, Charlie, who's got a little tiny company called Global Technologies Ltd, is productizing the IP under the code name DASCOA, short for Discovery and Connectivity Oriented Architecture, which is basically what it does using XML. Charlie says, "DASCOA is like a super-PTSN (Public Telephone Switched Network), but for software. It simplifies the writing of Web services considerably, and does not require SOAP, WSDL or other encumbered specifications" like the stuff the IBM-Microsoft-created WS-I Organization has dreamed up. Charlie is thinking of tying up with another company more skilled at marketing to get DASCOA to market. Reportedly the spec is written, the software's in the can, and the documentation is written, but needs some cleaning up before productization. Linuxgram is published weekly by G2 Computer Intelligence Inc. 323 Glen Cove Ave.; Sea Cliff, NY 11579 (c) Copyright 2003 G2 Computer Intelligence, Inc. Here it is: United States Patent 6,546,413 1. A method to selectively use an Application Process of a first computer, to access information, and to access and interact with Minor Services accessible to said Application Process, wherein the Application Process uses one or more operating system communication primitives for communication connectivity and synchronization, and wherein said Application Process is a service provider application process executing on a computer system, and wherein a user application process is executing on a user computer system, said service provider application process being accessible to said user application process using a communication primitive the method comprising a) selecting said Minor Services by chosen criteria; b) connecting the Application Process with said selected Minor Services when the Application Process requires interaction with said selected Minor Services; wherein: c) said service provider application process communicates a registration request to said user application process, d) said user application process communicates said communicated request to the user of said user application process, e) said user responsive to said requests, communicates registration information to said user application process, f) said user application process communicates said registration information to said service provider application process, and g) said service provider application process registers said registration information as an entry in a service directory accessible to said service application process. Access-method-independent exchange United States Patent 5,850,518 1. A method to selectively use an Application Process to both access information, and to access and interact with Minor Services that have not been referenced in the representation of the application program for the recorded Application Process comprising the steps: a) registering Minor Services and communication primitives; b) selecting said registered Minor Services and said registered communication primitives by chosen criteria; c) determining which selected Minor Services and communication primitives are presently loaded; d) loading said selected Minor Services and said selected communication primitives that are not already loaded; and e) connecting said Application Process with said loaded minor services using said loaded communication primitives, when the Application Process requires interaction with said selected Minor Services. minor services, communication primitives, without prior definition of such - is primitive

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