EFF Challenges Bogus Patent Threatening Consumer Awareness Products

Submitted by Webmaster on Wed, 25/04/2007 - 01:17

Illegitimate Patent Inhibits Innovation in Market for Mobile Information AccessSan Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took aim today at a bogus patent threatening innovative technologies that enhance consumer awareness, requesting a reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).NeoMedia Technologies, Inc., claims to own rights to all systems that provide information over computer networks using database-like lookup procedures that rely on scanned inputs, such as a barcode. NeoMedia has used these claims not only to threaten and sue innovators in the mobile information space, but also to intimidate projects focused on increasing awareness among consumers about the social and environmental impact of the products they buy. For example, the Consumer Information Lab at the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley uses such technology to examine how health, environmental, and social information affects consumers' shopping behavior and decision-making. Were NeoMedia to control the patent rights to this technology, such projects could be severely limited and potentially shut down."NeoMedia should not be allowed to use this bogus patent to inhibit consumer awareness, education, or research into the impact of information on consumer choice," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "This is the opposite of 'progress,' something the patent laws are supposed to promote."EFF's reexamination request shows that the functionality covered by NeoMedia's bad patent was repeatedly included as part of prior patent applications from other companies -- demonstrating that the idea of forming a network connection from scanned items was well-known before NeoMedia made its claim. EFF, in conjunction with Paul Grewal and James Czaja of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder, ask the PTO to revoke the patent based on this and other evidence."Our patent system is supposed to protect innovation, not block it. Everyone loses if the Patent Office allows these kinds of abuses to continue," said Grewal, a partner at the Day Casebeer firm.The challenge to the NeoMedia patent is part of EFF's Patent Busting Project, which combats the chilling effects bad patents have on public and consumer interests. So far, the project has helped kill a bogus patent covering a system and method of creating digital recordings of live performances. The PTO has also granted another EFF reexamination request for an illegitimate patent for online test-taking.For the full NeoMedia patent reexamination request:http://www.eff.org/patent/wanted/patent.php?p=neomediaFor more on EFF's Patent Busting Project:http://www.eff.org/patent/For more on Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder:http://www.daycasebeer.comFor more information on the Consumer Information Lab at UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources: http://nature.berkeley.edu/infolab/projects/informationtoolsdevelopmentprojectContacts:Jason Schultz Staff Attorney Electronic Frontier Foundation jason@eff.orgPaul Grewal Partner Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder pgrewal@daycasebeer.com

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The EFF Has No Case

Submitted by AJ (not verified) on Thu, 26/04/2007 - 18:09.

As a lawyer, the EFF has absolutely no case against NeoMedia.

There are patents in existence that do describe scanning and reading UPC labels. However, they are in reference to closed systems or simply in reference to hand held barcode scanning equipment.

That seems to be the case here. These previous patents do not seem to reference using UPC codes in an open system, ala NeoMedia’s patent, to connect directly to the Internet. That is the key difference between NeoMedia’s patent and the prior art provided by the EFF.

In the AirClic vs NeoMedia case, it was deemed that AirClic was connecting barcodes internally in a closed system and was not violating NeoMedia’s patents, which cover the process in an open ‘direct connect to the Internet’ system. Hence, the court already decided and acknowledged that there are two different kinds of patented processes here. Open vs Closed systems.

AirClic did not receive a license to use NeoMedia’s patented technology, and the two companies agreed that AirClic’s current business model - mobile enterprise solutions - is not in NeoMedia’s space because AirClic used a closed system.

The fact of the matter is, the EFF has ulterior motives. I have never seen a respectable lawyer use the word “bogus” in a press release. That type of language is libelous. The EFF’s whole agenda is inflammatory and attempts to distort their true motives.

Truth be told, they have intentionally left out Virgin Entertainment consistently since 2004 - because it is clear a multi-billion dollar company (that ended up settling and licensing with NeoMedia) doesn’t fit the story they are fabricating about NeoMedia going after only small companies.

The prior patents submitted by the EFF have no true commonality with NeoMedia’s patents.



It's In The Code

Submitted by streetstylz (not verified) on Thu, 26/04/2007 - 12:17.

NeoMedia’s mobile code reading platform qode is making tremendous strides in Europe as well as here in North America. With a great showing at CTIA, tremendous media coverage from the New York Times, and their involvement with the Mobile Codes Consortium, qode is on its way to becoming the code-agnostic universal reader with its soon to be released upgrade version capable of reading UPC/EAN, Aztec, Datamatrix, and QR codes.





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