W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > September 2003

Re: If MS pulls plug-in support, who do I sue

From: Hector Santos <winserver.support@winserver.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 11:24:37 -0400
Message-ID: <000e01c376e6$7c18c6a0$e31a2343@FAMILY>
To: "W3C Public Web Plugins List" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>

Jake,

No, I think the patent is more broad than this.

The automatic "transformation" (a keyword for patentability) of the data via
an server-side embedded application provided to the end-user client software
is the key technology here they wish to control.

It doesn't matter how's it done.  If you send data + program to a client
machine to manage the data on the client side,  you are covered by the
erroneous patent.

If it was anything else, this would be an easy patent claim to refute and
circumvent.  For example, a NON-WEB BROWSER that offers its own proprietary
component system  such as our Wildcat! Navigator.

But there is a light in the end of the tunnel.  The fact the patent attempts
to be broad, in my opinion, begins to slip when it specifically uses an
example of a distributed spreadsheet:

    "Other applications of the invention are possible. For example, the user
    can operate a spreadsheet program that is being executed by one or more
    other computer systems connected via the network to the user's client
    computer. Once the spreadsheet program has calculated results, the
    results may be sent over the network to the user's client computer for
    display to the user. In this way, computer systems located remotely on
    the network can be used to provide the computing power that may be
    required for certain tasks and to reduce the data bandwidth by only
    transmitting results of the computations."

This is remote client/server fundamental methodology for distribution of
computer data processing.  It is why client/servers systems exist.  Any IP
lawyer that doesn't use this against the patent is worthless.

Listen people,  we need to realize two things about this case:

1) There is substantial argument for prior art and obviousness.  However,
due to current USPTO guidelines, to win this case the courts would have to
revert to old software patent requirements.  There is certainly substantial
proof that the USPTO software patent guidelines are inadequate and not good
for society.

2) The economic incentive for large corporations to  patent every concept
written down by employee's "Technical Work Book",  regardless of the merits
of the patent.  Remember, patents do not protect ideas - lawyers do!

With that said, Microsoft is in an interesting "quagmire" because on the one
hand, they need this fundamental feature which is important for many of
today's application but also strategic for future Windows systems.  To
submit to the patent, Gates will finally be in a position of losing control
of his empire. On the other hand, they can win this case but it will require
prove to the courts the inadequacies of the software patent guidelines. To
do so, they will automatically void many of their software patents filed and
issued over the last few years.

But in my mind, this really has nothing to do with Microsoft.  The patent
address fundamental concepts in client/server computing that has nothing to
do with Microsoft.  MS did not invent remote client/server computing.

In short,  the winning strategy is to write to the USPTO and the Appeals
Court to get your input on the matter.  The patent claim must be struck down
and voided otherwise WE all lose.  In my case, I can show substantial prior
art and business operations with our Wildcat! Navigator so Eolas will have a
tough time with us. I don't need Mr. Pei!  But anyone else new developing
software with this technology?  well, you will have some issues to do with
here.

Who knows?  The courts and USPTO may decide that this technology is obvious
and fundamental in the telecomputing market place thus declaring it in the
public domain, just like it was done with the HAYES Modem AT command set -
declared it PUBLIC DOMAIN!

Sincerely,

Hector Santos, CTO
Santronics Software, Inc.
http://www.santronics.com
305-431-2846 Cell
305-248-3204 Office


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jake Robb" <jakerobb@mac.com>
To: "W3C Public Web Plugins List" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: If MS pulls plug-in support, who do I sue


>
> From my understanding of the patent, the plugin must draw content within
the
> "hypermedia document" (web page).  If your ActiveX does not have any
visual
> components that actually appear on the page, I think you're safe.
>
> -Jake
>
>
> Russell Cowdrey wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > Richard,
> >
> > I'm most interested in your last comment that the ActiveX control would
have
> > to have a display area in a browser window.  My control is 95% in the
> > background, but there are times that we display html as modal dialogs in
IE.
> > Would that be in violation?
> >
> > All of that would not get around the issue of being able to easily
launch
> > the ActiveX control in the first place which will I fear become much
more
> > cumbersome if allowed at all.
> >
> > Russell
> >
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 9 September 2003 11:26:07 UTC

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