Time to treat US patent trolls
Like annoying brats (used to be treated...) and ignore them.
Oh- like most of the world does.
A Texas-based intellectual property holder is suing a host of major home entertainment companies - think all the big names - for daring to sell DVDs with clickable videos in their menus. Patent Harbor LLC maintains that owns a patent that covers such user interface features, and that the many named content companies alleged …
I've said it before and I will say it again. Patents need to be like trademarks. If you have a patent and you don't have a product on sale using it within a year then the patent should be null and void.
A trademark is similar, if you aren't using your trademark then you tend to lose it. It stops people trademarking vast amounts of common words.
Patents exist for a reason, it can take a long time before that genius idea of yours can be successfully turned into a product. By patenting the essence of the process the inventor has protection against large companies stealing the idea and outspending on R&D to beat the innovator to market.
What should happen is that 'patents' like this should not exist at all.
I agree that things look broken but that would mean that legitimate use of patents could be prevented. Say I come up witha good idea, get a patent (which can take some years to get approved) and go see a few VSs for cash, one year later no one get me money but suddenly there are a half dozen products with my idea in them and no patent protection.
While the menus weren't videos, the video CD format (VCD) supports menus and was available a year before this patent.
Any computer game with menus superimposed over the top of a rolling demo is likely to be prior art as well. Just because it isn't video and is computer generated imagery shouldn't really matter.
The patent described is for a system to capture / tag video based on a content image, it doesn't appear to be about actually "tagging" and using "tags" to goto a position in a video stream. It's more like "take a photograph of a car, overlay a grid on that photo and let a user who is encoding the video click on that grid, there is a robot camera which records at a position based on the place the user is clicking" tags and video are generated and mixed in with the content image so that when played back a user sees what was recorded at a particular position. Load of nonsense really and it's surely a patent troll.
Patent-infringement does not require "damage"... only unauthorized use of a valid-patent. And, soon... "prior art" will be utterly irrelevant in the U.S. as the new "First to File - Patent-system reform" (being pushed by numerous big corporations, and the Obama-administration) is specifically designed to completely-eliminate that defense against legal-allegations of "Patent-infringement".
I think it's time I patented breathing. Yep that's right, if you can patent this clickable video shit and start suing people to make money then obviously breathing is also patentable. It's obviously an honest way to make a living, why do anything useful when I can sue people!
Paris, cos she's infringing my patent!
Kodak Portfolio CDs: Interactive menu using content from Audio CD and Photo CD tracks on one disk (real photo CD format, not the jpg Picture CD). (these are not to be confused with putting your portfolio on a CD.
Portfolio CD format never took off (I have a Kodak demo) as the tools to author were far too expensive. Even Photo CD was never popular due high cost of Kodak tools and closed specification.
A few dedicated CD audio/Photo CD players and free windows program can play Portfolio CDs. Basically menus with slide shows that have synchronised CD Audio sound track, but quite complex interactivity with cursor and hot spots. Obviously "portfolio" is proprietary Kodak format that is derived from Red Book (CD Audio) and Beige Book (Photo CD). But I've never heard of a Rainbow book for it.
Wikipedia knows nothing of Portfolio CDs.
1984 publicly announced in 1986
DVD menus are pretty much based on "portfolio CD" and CDi.
Appropriate Icon for these kind of "IP holders".
I hope this lot of opportunistic money grubbers take it to court, the judge tells them off for wasting time and for being opportunistic and hits them with a truly massive legal bill for trying to be a bit clever with the law. Bring back the stocks in town squares so rotten fruit and veg can be thrown at people like this!
Let's see if anyone supports or distances themselves from this?
In the past when some huge corp beats a little company up over patent infringement, there's been a mass outcry of disgust and much spleen venting against said mega-corp.
Now we have some little tiddler taking on the much maligned huge media corps, will these same people decry the use of the patent system?
Claim #4 reads: "The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the controllable video image generator comprises a robot mounted video camera."
Last time I checked, none of my computers or DVD players have a "robot mounted video camera".
Seriously, look at the pictures in the patent and tell me how this is related to DVDs. This case needs to be dismissed and a hefty fine levied against the plaintiff for wasting the court's time.
I have an Audio CD from 1993 that has a data partition on it in addition to the tracks, and when placed in a Mac (running System 8), it displays a very DVD-like menu system including movind images that are to be clicked to launch into the music video, or even launch AOL to the artist's custom content page there. This idea was not new or novel when patented, sorry.
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