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What would it take?

From: Chris 'Xenon' Hanson <xenon@3dnature.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:35:01 -0600
Message-ID: <3F663E95.7030604@3dnature.com>
To: public-web-plugins@w3.org

   I have a passing interest in the so-called 906 patent.

   I also have some idea where watertight prior art might be found.

   So, here's my question:

   What defines watertight prior art? We've seen all kinds of references to
BBSes, and to Ray Ozzie's Lotus Notes demo, and such. But, to meet all the
claims, we're talking about Hypertext, and we're talking about embedded program/media
objects, and we're talking about browsers. And, if Pei's evidence doesn't count, we
are talking about a system that was distributed, not just conceived and implemented.

   So, we're looking for a Web Browser, shipping before the Oct 17th 1994 date of the
patent filing, that had embedded in-window media objects that launched program objects
based on typing information, so that the user could view/experience the embedded media
from within a context that was contained within the browser, and could interact with
the media controller/presentation program object via the browser's context?

   Have I missed anything?

   I am not a patent lawyer, but I have a pretty good knowledge of some IP law.

   I notice the patent makes additional claims, "The method of claim n, wherein"...
Do these further limit the scope of the initial claims, or expand them? In essence, if
we were to demonstrate a product that embodied claims, say 1-3 (representative of
a PDF or Quicktime media embedded in a browser), does that undermine the whole thing,
or does Claim 4 require one to demonstrate that somehow the network server was involved
before it is determined to be prior art? For example, in the case of a PDF being
displayed in a browser, the server has no input on the interaction, beyond the initial
stage of just supplying the media and expecting the browser to figure out what to do
with it.

   So, if Claim 4 must be involved to have it apply, we can't undermine it with an
example that doesn't involve the server being included in the Media<->Browser<->Object
conversation. But wouldn't that mean that a PDF embedded object itself is not a violation
of the patent?

   I'm hoping that a simple demonstration of the pre-existance of a public implementation
of at least claims 1-3 would deep-six this bad boy. Can someone enlighten me? I'm in
the beginning stages of creating an application that I'd like to use as a plug-in to a
web browser, and I do NOT want to get caught up in this mess...

   I'm wondering, is Microsoft's legal team lurking here? I would think they would be,
since this is a big brain resource that they ought to be drawing on. If the above claims
(1-3) refute this ridiculous patent, then I may know where to find their smoking gun.

Chris - Xenon
      Chris Hanson | Xenon@3DNature.com | Life is too short to fold socks!
    New World Construction Set 6 Demo Version!: http://www.3DNature.com/demo/
  "There is no Truth. There is only Perception. To Perceive is to Exist." - Xen
Received on Monday, 15 September 2003 18:39:02 UTC

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