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

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

From: Jake Robb <jakerobb@mac.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 11:41:18 -0400
To: W3C Public Web Plugins List <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BB836CDE.E896%jakerobb@mac.com>

Here's a quick link to the patent:


Please have a look at claims 1 and 6.  It specifically refers to
"displaying" the embedded interactive object *within* the hypertext
document, even going so far as to say that the embedded object shall have a
particular visual location within the document.

While looking through the patent again, I noticed a part in the description
section which mentioned OLE and Apple's OpenDoc, claiming that neither had
the ability to be embedded in a remote hypermedia document.  I thought that
OpenDoc did have that ability; does anyone know?  And what about OLE?  Since
it's mentioned in the patent, it was obviously pre-existing.  Was it
possible to embed OLE documents in pages then, or was that not until the
advent of ActiveX?


Hector Santos wrote:

> 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 11:41:22 UTC

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