Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paul Allen's patent attack

Let's say you're on a news web site, maybe CNN, reading about the topic of the day. For example: as I write this, Bin Laden's death is still in the news. So maybe the article you're reading has links to related news items:

  • Poll: 56% want death photo released
  • Source: Bin Laden's daughter saw killing
  • Fake bin Laden photo circulates
  • More raid details emerge

Guess what? There's a patent for displaying relevant, related links to a news article.

  • 6,263,507: "Browser for use in navigating a body of information, with particular application to browsing information represented by audio data."
  • 6,034,652 and 6,788,314: "Attention manager for occupying the peripheral attention of a person in the vicinity of a display device"
  • 6,757,682: "Alerting users to items of current interest"

An article on the Wall Street Journal has some interesting reading, and Techdirt has an update from December 29.

It's another example of "software" patents being used as a legal attack.

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