Company says it owns hyperlinks patent
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Thread: Company says it owns hyperlinks patent

  1. #1
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    Post Company says it owns hyperlinks patent

    Company says it owns hyperlinks patent
    Judge: 'Language is archaic ... like reading Old English'
    February 11, 2002 Posted: 5:16 PM EST (2216 GMT)





    WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) -- A British company claimed in federal court Monday that it owns the patent on hyperlinks -- the single-click conveniences that take a Web surfer from one Internet page to another -- and should get paid for their daily use by millions of people.

    But a federal judge with a laptop on her desk warned that it may be difficult to prove that a patent filed in 1976, more than a decade before the World Wide Web was created, applies to modern computers.

    "The language is archaic," said United States District Judge Colleen McMahon. "It's like reading Old English."

    She said comparing a 1976 computer with a 2002 computer is like comparing a mastodon and a jet. And she suggested that the invention at issue "was already outmoded by the time it was patented" in 1989.

    But Albert Breneisen, an attorney for British Telecommunications PLC (BT), insisted, "The basic structure of linking is covered by the patent." Before BT's technology, he said, a computer user had to know and enter the complete address of another page.

    Semantics
    At a preliminary hearing in White Plains, lawyers for BT and for Prodigy Communications Corp. -- the Internet service provider that's the first target of the lawsuit -- argued over the meanings of words as simple as "central," as in "central computer," and phrases as complex as "means coupled to said further memory means."

    "'Central' is a simple English word," the judge said, to little avail, as the lawyers used slide shows, animations and charts.

    BT tried to persuade the judge to interpret the language broadly for the jury -- to include a computer mouse, for example, as the "keypad" mentioned in the patent.

    "It has keys," BT lawyer Robert Perry said hopefully.

    When they argued over the word "terminal," Prodigy lawyer Willem Schuuman tried to show that the "dumb" terminals of old cannot be equated to modern desktops that do their own computing.

    When computers were huge
    The judge said she feared that jurors, who may have a hard enough time understanding their own computers, will not be able to grasp what computer technology was like in the 1970s, when mainframes the size of a Buick had less power than some handheld devices today.

    "I'm thinking of the six, eight, 10 people who will not have a clue and will be terrified going into this," she said of the still-to-be-selected jurors.

    But BT's Breneisen said outside court, "I think a jury that uses clicks on their computers every day will be able to see how that relates to this patent. It's an old patent but it's got an awful lot of similarities to certain things that are being used on the Internet."

    If it's successful against Prodigy, which now is based in Texas but formerly was in White Plains, BT could challenge other Internet service providers (ISPs) and demand licensing fees that might add to members' costs.

    At one point in the hearing, Prodigy referred to a German article about technology that existed before the BT invention, and the judge asked unsuccessfully for Schuuman to tell her what the article said.

    "I only read German when I'm singing Bach," the judge said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/interne....ap/index.html




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  2. #2
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    These guys are idiots. People are always trying to make money off of something, or cause controvery over stupid crap. Thanks for posting this, though.

  3. #3
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    This particular issue has been going on for (i believe) over a year now. And BT is so full of crap their eyes are brown. This is truly laughable.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  4. #4
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    idiotic.

    that's an idiotic lawsuit.

  5. #5
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    I heard of this before. Soon someone else will say they own the rights to tcp/ip etc. The courts and govts are going to have to return some sense to the lawsuit issue.
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

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    OMG! How can you own hyperlinks.... W3C doesnt say anything like that... How stupid do you have to be tomake a lawsuit like that? --I wonder if they work for Micro$oft--
    EDIT: Sorry for the double post.... My web-browser refreshed automatically

  7. #7
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    Yes, and i have the patent for 'hex', some guy named bill, beat me to binary.

    A toll booth on the information hyway.

    are you sure this didn't come from the onion?
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  8. #8
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    This must be a pretty interesting case to watch, if they'll argue over the meaning of "central". I'd pay for footage of this

    SSJVegeta-Sei


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  9. #9
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    what would bring people to believe they own hyper-links? i mean come on, let me guess this companies next lawsuit is against the DOT claiming they have a patent on roads...
    what is love but contempt for hate?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by indolent
    what would bring people to believe they own hyper-links? i mean come on, let me guess this companies next lawsuit is against the DOT claiming they have a patent on roads...
    *Guy with a toga rises up out of the grave and begins filing affadavits*
    Elen alcarin ar gwath halla ná engwar.

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