Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Dec 2008 20:00 UTC
Legal Large multinational software companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google, rarely - if ever - initiate patent infringement lawsuits against other software companies, probably because they themselves infringe on lots of patents too. However, they do get sued themselves by smaller companies. Even though the Christian part of the world is all about forgiveness and love and pink ponies during the holidays (or, at least, they ought to be), Apple, Google, and Microsoft have been struck by a patent infringement lawsuit started by Cygnus Systems.
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Can you say...
by DrillSgt on Fri 26th Dec 2008 20:13 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

...prior art? The article is misleading as it states the patent was filed for in 2001. According to the patent office, "US Patent Issued on March 18, 2008", that is definitely not the case. It normally only takes about 6-12 months for a patent to be issued, and even if longer for some, definitely not 7 years. Looks like a get rich quick scheme to me, targeting the big players that would most likely just pay out some cash in order to squash the negative publicity, true or not.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Can you say...
by tomcat on Fri 26th Dec 2008 20:15 UTC in reply to "Can you say..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

...prior art? The article is misleading as it states the patent was filed for in 2001. According to the patent office, "US Patent Issued on March 18, 2008", that is definitely not the case. It normally only takes about 6-12 months for a patent to be issued, and even if longer for some, definitely not 7 years. Looks like a get rich quick scheme to me, targeting the big players that would most likely just pay out some cash in order to squash the negative publicity, true or not.


Actually, that's not true. It's been my personal experience that the USPTO is extraordinarily slow (some would call them methodical -- I wouldn't) in granting patents. I've seen quite a few cases where patents took 5-7 years to issue. It's more common than you think.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Can you say...
by DrillSgt on Fri 26th Dec 2008 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Can you say..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Actually, that's not true. It's been my personal experience that the USPTO is extraordinarily slow (some would call them methodical -- I wouldn't) in granting patents. I've seen quite a few cases where patents took 5-7 years to issue. It's more common than you think."

I'll take your word for it. I think the longest I have ever seen was 1 1/2 years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Can you say...
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Dec 2008 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can you say..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'll take your word for it. I think the longest I have ever seen was 1 1/2 years.


The dates were taken straight from the USPTO information on the patent.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Can you say...
by tomcat on Sun 28th Dec 2008 06:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can you say..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'll take your word for it. I think the longest I have ever seen was 1 1/2 years.


It also depends on whether the patent is challenged during the RFC phase.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can you say... RFTA
by bannor99 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 02:34 UTC in reply to "Can you say..."
bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

...prior art? The article is misleading as it states the patent was filed for in 2001. According to the patent office, "US Patent Issued on March 18, 2008", that is definitely not the case. It normally only takes about 6-12 months for a patent to be issued, and even if longer for some, definitely not 7 years. Looks like a get rich quick scheme to me, targeting the big players that would most likely just pay out some cash in order to squash the negative publicity, true or not.


This isn't Slashdot - please Read The Fine Article instead of trying for FIRST POST.
The MacWorld article has the Patent number at the bottom, which is linked to the relevant page on PatentStorm. The submission date is indicated on the right of the page.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Can you say... RFTA
by DrillSgt on Sat 27th Dec 2008 04:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Can you say... RFTA"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"This isn't Slashdot - please Read The Fine Article instead of trying for FIRST POST."

I don't try for first post, and this place is obviously not slashdot as the majority here are pretty well informed.

I always actually read the article first, as well I looked up the patent at the actual patent web site. Imagine that. I missed the filing date, and only saw the date it was granted, so excuse me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can you say...
by PatentObserver on Sun 28th Dec 2008 08:36 UTC in reply to "Can you say..."
PatentObserver Member since:
2008-12-28

DrillSqt is obviously not very well versed things realted to patents:
1. It takes MUCH more than 2-12 months for a patnet to issue. It can easily take 6-12 before you get the first response to your application. It almost never takes less than 6 months just for the first response.
2. The patent here in question is a continuation patent, i.e. it is a second patent based on the disclosure (and patent application) of an earlier patent. In this case, the parent patent was applied for in 1998. This application (the continuation) was applied for in 2001. All this is readily available is you had taken the time to look at the front page of this patent.

It is nice that you are interested in patents, but nect time, please do your homework before you post misleading comments.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Can you say...
by DrillSgt on Sun 28th Dec 2008 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Can you say..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"DrillSqt is obviously not very well versed things realted to patents:"

Absolutely true. I hold no patents.

"1. It takes MUCH more than 2-12 months for a patnet to issue. It can easily take 6-12 before you get the first response to your application. It almost never takes less than 6 months just for the first response."

Interesting to note then. My information was based on asking someone I know who has 5 patents how long the process took. They have always had one granted without the extremely long wait, the longest taking 1 1/2 years.

"2. The patent here in question is a continuation patent, i.e. it is a second patent based on the disclosure (and patent application) of an earlier patent. In this case, the parent patent was applied for in 1998. This application (the continuation) was applied for in 2001. All this is readily available is you had taken the time to look at the front page of this patent."

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7346850/fulltext.html

Is that not the patent? I just read it again and see nothing about it being a continuation.

Either way, thanks for the education. Always good to learn.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Can you say...
by PatentObserver on Mon 29th Dec 2008 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can you say..."
PatentObserver Member since:
2008-12-28

"1 1/2 years": There are differences between countries, and there are differences in the field of the patent. In the field of this patent would be extremely unlikely to even get the first response within 6 months.
"Continuation": You see this on the front page of the patent. You cannot see this information on the link you used "patentstorm" without subscribing and then seeing the printed patent. You will, however, be able to see it e.g. on the US Patent and Trademark Office web site: www.uspto.gov, or here: http://ipwatchdog.com/patents/US_7346850.pdf.
Look about halfway down on col 1 on the front page: Related US Application data.

Reply Score: 1

Patent Troll
by tomcat on Fri 26th Dec 2008 20:13 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

This is getting ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent Troll
by Morgan on Sat 27th Dec 2008 00:25 UTC in reply to "Patent Troll"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Indeed. Part of the quoted patent seems to describe the "thumbs.db" file used in Windows operating systems from well before 2001 to store thumbnail data. I'm not normally one to be on Microsoft's side, but Ballmer and Co. should be able to crush these trolls like the roaches they are just with that little bit of prior art.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patent Troll
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Troll"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Indeed. Part of the quoted patent seems to describe the "thumbs.db" file used in Windows operating systems from well before 2001 to store thumbnail data. I'm not normally one to be on Microsoft's side, but Ballmer and Co. should be able to crush these trolls like the roaches they are just with that little bit of prior art.

*Cringes*
Man... I *HATED* those files... one of the first "features" I disabled on every fresh install of XP, before Windows had a chance to populate any folder I just *viewed* with that junk. That thumbs.db file is about as viral as you can get. :|

Anyway... hopefully this patent troll loses and doesn't get a damn thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patent Troll
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Troll"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Man... I *HATED* those files...
...
Anyway... hopefully this patent troll loses and doesn't get a damn thing.

We all hate thumbnailers, dear. Take solace in the fact that even if he wins, he'll never be able to enjoy the money. Too many of us thumbnail haters will show up at his door to rip his face off first. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patent Troll
by dragossh on Sat 27th Dec 2008 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Troll"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

OS X populates everything with .DS_Store. It's worse than Windows, because you can't turn this off.

Edited 2008-12-27 09:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Patent Troll
by Wowbagger on Sat 27th Dec 2008 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent Troll"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean like the Thumbs.db thing in Windows you can't turn off either?

TinkerTool will let you turn this off for network volumes, on OS X native disks it won't show up, so what's the issue?

Edited 2008-12-27 13:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Patent Troll
by Zoidberg on Sat 27th Dec 2008 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Troll"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

You mean like the Thumbs.db thing in Windows you can't turn off either?


What are you talking about? Yes you most certainly can turn it off, as was already pointed out. Go to Folder Options and select "Do Not Cache Thumbnails".

Edited 2008-12-27 17:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patent Troll
by Zoidberg on Sun 28th Dec 2008 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Troll"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

Sorry double post.

Edited 2008-12-28 05:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent Troll
by PatentObserver on Sun 28th Dec 2008 08:47 UTC in reply to "Patent Troll"
PatentObserver Member since:
2008-12-28

This is getting ridiculous.

What is getting ridiculous? The fact that all these "trolls" are appearing, or the fact that this does not look like a troll at all and still is (I think misleadingly) referred to as a troll?
Look e.g. at Patently-O writer, Dennis Crouch, who puts out a working definition of a patent troll. "The patent troll waits for others to independently develop the patented technology into useful products and to create a market for those products."
By "waits for others..." normally is meant that the troll is a "non-practising entity", i.e it does not use the inventions itself. Often the patent rtoll definition referes also to comanies that purchase patents cheap with the sole purpose of suing for big money.
I cannot see that Cygnus fits into this category at all?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Patent Troll
by pantheraleo on Sun 28th Dec 2008 09:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Troll"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

If nothing else, this falls under the "trivial and obvious" category. As I said, I was doing this in 1996. It's an incredibly simple and obvious concept, and the code implementation is also simple. This is one of the worst cases of software patent trolling I have ever seen.

Reply Score: 1

huh?
by Rugxulo on Fri 26th Dec 2008 20:37 UTC
Rugxulo
Member since:
2007-10-09

Cygnus Systems? I assume this isn't the same as our good ol' pals Cygnus Solutions / Cygnus Support that Red Hat bought out in 1999. In fact, I wonder why they are named such anyways. (Guess "Cygnus" isn't trademarked?) Very annoying, I wish software patents would just die already. Why not? The economy already sucks, it can't hurt much at this point. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

When are they going to sue ...
by MacTO on Fri 26th Dec 2008 21:20 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

... the people who implemented similar technologies in the 1990s? This patent is, after all, from 2001 and thumbnail previews existed in the 1990s. I recall previews existing in the OS/2 Workplace Shell, applications created thumbnail preview for the classic Mac OS Finder. Heck, 2001 makes the timeline tight for Apple's implementation in Mac OS X (which, I believe) had these previews from the outset.

Or maybe it's just some quirk in the language of the claims, a quirk that only applies to a particular implementation. In that case, I'm sure that all of these companies can change their implementation and end up with the exact same feature as far as end users are concerned.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

... the people who implemented similar technologies in the 1990s? This patent is, after all, from 2001 and thumbnail previews existed in the 1990s. I recall previews existing in the OS/2 Workplace Shell...

That is, of course, the wisdom IBM demonstrated by litigating Caldera into the ground rather than buying them out, which might have been cheaper and more convenient in the short term. This new potential litigant can expect exactly the same. And I doubt they have anywhere near the resources that Caldera started out with.

Edited 2008-12-26 21:37 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

Unless I misunderstand the claims, is this not what you had on the Amiga in the late 1980's?

I know there were programs that access the .info file and place a small version of an picture file's image into the icon.

Also Iconifier let you run programs and in icon mode the icon was a real-time update image of what the program was doing with it's window.

Reply Score: 2

PatentObserver Member since:
2008-12-28

Please try to learn before you write. This patent is a continuation patent based on an application from 1998. Thus, it was invented by the patent owner in 1998, not 2001.
Just read the front page of the patent.

Reply Score: 1

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

Only problem they are patenting in 1998 what my Amiga was doing in 1988!

Reply Score: 2

Relevance?
by Ressev on Sat 27th Dec 2008 02:50 UTC
Ressev
Member since:
2005-07-18

...Even though the Christian part of the world is all about forgiveness and love and pink ponies during the holidays (or, at least, they ought to be)...

And the relevance to businesses is what now?

As to the main topic: What it illustrates is the need for the US patent system to be reformed. A company should not be able to sit for years on a pending patent without sending notice to possible infringers in the meantime or demonstrating they put the tech to use. Even then, where coding is concerned, the life of a patent should be far shorter.

Edited 2008-12-27 02:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Relevance?
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 03:10 UTC in reply to "Relevance?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

As to the main topic: What it illustrates is the need for the US patent system to be reformed. A company should not be able to...
...
...the life of a patent should be far shorter.

No. The whole idea of handing out state supported monopolies, which the framers of the US constitution were squeamish of in the first place, and thus made an *option*, and not a *responsibility* of the Congress, turned out to be a bad one, after all. And it really needs to be extinguished. Good luck putting this Genie back into the bottle, Mr. Franklin.

Edited 2008-12-27 03:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Relevance?
by Ressev on Sat 27th Dec 2008 03:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Relevance?"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

Ensuring that someone's idea can be kept their own for a time, and thus encouraging people to put forth more great ideas is not a bad thing. The problem is the application of the process: non-intuitive inventions should be allowed a decent lifetime but intuitive inventions - logic based ones such as programs, should be kept rather short.

The genie is not the patenting of ideas itself, but the current process of application and of patent longevity which was set up for physically unique designs.

Patents were meant to prevent monopolies from snowballing new ideas they did not come up with into their own.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Relevance?
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 04:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Relevance?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Patents were meant to prevent monopolies from snowballing new ideas they did not come up with into their own.

That's an interesting take. Patents were originally intended as a congressional option to give small inventors incentive to develop their ideas into products, thus benefiting We, The People. Otherwise, it was feared, beneficial ideas might be lost, and their potential benefits to the people wasted.

Of course today people think that patents are there because anyone with a good idea has the American right to win the lottery^W^W^Wget rich off of it. But in actual practice, we just get patent trolls.

It's rather similar to the way email seemed to have so much potential, and instead we just got spammers.

Edited 2008-12-27 04:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Relevance?
by Ressev on Sat 27th Dec 2008 04:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Relevance?"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

"Patents were meant to prevent monopolies from snowballing new ideas they did not come up with into their own.

That's an interesting take. Patents were originally intended as a congressional option to give small inventors incentive to develop their ideas into products, thus benefiting We, The People. Otherwise, it was feared, beneficial ideas might be lost, and their potential benefits to the people wasted.

Of course today people think that patents are there because anyone with a good idea has the American right to win the lottery^W^W^Wget rich off of it. But in actual practice, we just get patent trolls.
"

That is mostly my point which I state in the first sentence of the quote you take from.
"Ensuring that someone's idea can be kept their own for a time, and thus encouraging people to put forth more great ideas is not a bad thing"

Patents are tools, and like all tools (e-mail, mail, cars, guns) they can be used for good or ill. The patent process and terms need to be reformed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Relevance?
by PatentObserver on Sun 28th Dec 2008 16:51 UTC in reply to "Relevance?"
PatentObserver Member since:
2008-12-28

...Even though the Christian part of the world is all about forgiveness and love and pink ponies during the holidays (or, at least, they ought to be)... A company should not be able to sit for years on a pending patent without sending notice to possible infringers in the meantime or demonstrating they put the tech to use.

It is better if you learn about things before you comment on them. Until the patent issued in 2008, there was no patent. It also takes some time to find a law firm and suing within several months after he patent issues is not unheard of, not illogical, not immoral. For a large case like this, a lot of research is needed and a lot of other work.
And, most importantly, as the current US law seems increasingly partial to the infringer (some of which are indeed "patent pirates"), if a (small) company contacts a potiential infringer for a license, or even just to talk about things, the patentee is likely to be DJ'd (that is: sued) by the patent pirate. Then the company who is using (possibly stole) the technology gets to choose the venue. And, the (small) patent owner will have to defend itself, something costing millions of dollars that the owner might very well not have. And if you don't defend yourself, the patent will most likely be declared invalid. - Not because it deserves to be, but simply because the patent owner does not (cannot afford to) defend himself.

Mabe someone should ask themselves who is at the most disadvantage here, the small, poor patent owner/inventor, or, say, Microsoft, with 40 billion (or whatever it is) in the bank.

Reply Score: 1

Patent is worthless...
by looncraz on Sat 27th Dec 2008 05:09 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

The patent is TOTALLY worthless!

Prior to the filing of this patent, I was using an experimental Tracker ( BeOS ) from around 1999 which included thumbnails & screen captures based upon the registrar's data & index data attached to each file/folder in question.

In fact, a 16 year old started the work, and I helped continue it. The product later became the Tracker which was shipped with YellowTAB's Zeta OS ( originally intended for 'BeOS NG' ) - with some feature changes ( to reflect the change in mindset from NG to Zeta ).

Furthermore, in 2001, I created my own fork of OpenTracker which included said feature set ( and included in SuperDANO in 12/01 or the one from 2/02 ).

This patent is totally bogus - it post-dates previous provable works. Probably even open-source variants.

The coolest thing, naturally, is that not all OSes do these previews in the same manner, though Windows does it just how the patent claims - it was released in 2002, but the previews were available much earlier in preview releases. Thumbnails, however, have a much older history... in web pages. The migration to Desktop UI is hardly dramatic - far from being patentable, IMHO.

The method, as well, is pure common sense. A single disk read for all the thumbnails is the best way to go - though you still need to get the file dirents [ look it up ].

Stupid, stupid, stupid, money-grubbing POS lawyers...

People like these are helping to make this nation ( U.S. ) collapse from within.

--The loon

Reply Score: 4

RE: Patent is worthless...
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 05:21 UTC in reply to "Patent is worthless..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Stupid, stupid, stupid, money-grubbing POS lawyers...

People like these are helping to make this nation ( U.S. ) collapse from within.

I share your sentiment. And this situation makes it hard to criticize companies like MS which file a hundred or so patents a day. I guess they missed filing this particular one and it has come home to roost.

It's an interesting question, though. Would the U.S. collapsing from within be good or bad for the rest of the world? Probably bad for me here in Oklahoma. But there's a lot of world outside our borders.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Patent is worthless...
by Brendan on Sat 27th Dec 2008 06:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent is worthless..."
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

It's an interesting question, though. Would the U.S. collapsing from within be good or bad for the rest of the world? Probably bad for me here in Oklahoma. But there's a lot of world outside our borders.


I'd assume that U.S. companies and U.S. politicians are smart enough to only let things collapse a little (until the problem is obvious) before the patent laws were changed to prevent further collapse. That could be extremely good for everyone, including the U.S.

-Brendan

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Patent is worthless...
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 06:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent is worthless..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'd assume that U.S. companies and U.S. politicians are smart enough to only let things collapse a little (until the problem is obvious) before the patent laws were changed to prevent further collapse

Yeah. We'd never let our major banking, or other financial systems collapse through negligence or oversight, either.

Reply Score: 3

Letter
by 3rdalbum on Sat 27th Dec 2008 10:19 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Dear Cygnus Systems,

After we took a quick poll on the Internet, we unearthed a large amount of prior art from the 1990s, for major and obscure operating systems.

As a result, you have two options: STFU, or piss off. Preferably up your own backside.

Yours sincerely,

Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

History repeats itself?
by OSGuy on Sat 27th Dec 2008 10:28 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Eolas vs Microsoft. Let's see what happens this time.

Reply Score: 2

Lame...
by ratmonkey on Sat 27th Dec 2008 15:04 UTC
ratmonkey
Member since:
2006-06-24

I have no idea who Cygnus Systems is, but I hope they get their asses handed to them and end up bankrupt and defunct.

This has 'get rich quick' written all over it.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by jbettcher
by jbettcher on Sat 27th Dec 2008 18:22 UTC
jbettcher
Member since:
2008-06-15

I had a friend who invested in a company like this many years ago. It was a lawsuit against IBM over a patent they apparently held, it had to do with bank servers and how transactions were processed. Apparently the company had the patent to the certain network transactions that IBM had programmed.

He sunk a lot of money into the company and the lawsuit never came into fruition because IBM basically out of court settled with the company, it went sorta like this:

-Your patent is vague and will not hold up
-You never mention this again
-If you decide to go through court we will bankrupt your company umercilessly

Needless to say my friend and a lot of other hopeful people never got any pay out and basically lost their money when the companies stocks settled at next to nothing.

Reply Score: 2

Cygnus Systems
by centos_user on Sat 27th Dec 2008 19:23 UTC
centos_user
Member since:
2008-11-16

From a documentary I watched the name was from GNU open source arena.

I could be wrong, they are also Microsfot Gold Certified Partner as well.

I am afraid this could spell doom for this company and what their motives are for initiating this type of lawsuit.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cygnus Systems
by sbergman27 on Sat 27th Dec 2008 19:53 UTC in reply to "Cygnus Systems"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Are you thinking of "Cygnus Solutions" which is now owned by Red Hat and develops Cygwin, among other things? Different company completely.

Edited 2008-12-27 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cygnus Systems
by lemur2 on Sun 28th Dec 2008 05:23 UTC in reply to "Cygnus Systems"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

From a documentary I watched the name was from GNU open source arena.

I could be wrong, they are also Microsfot Gold Certified Partner as well.

I am afraid this could spell doom for this company and what their motives are for initiating this type of lawsuit.


According to Ars Technica (normally a very reliable source), the patent troll Cygnus Systems should not be confused with the open source company Cygnus Solutions.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081226-microsoft-apple-googl...

Cygnus Systems, Inc., a networking company based in Michigan, got into the holiday spirit by suing Microsoft, Apple, and Google for violating a patent it was recently awarded, which covers the navigation and access of files based on representational thumbnails.


... and later in the same article ...

Cygnus (not to be confused with Cygnus Solutions, which gave us open source tools like gcc and Cygwin)


... and again later still ...

This piece has been edited to reflect the fact that Cygnus Systems, Inc.—the small networking company that filed this suit—has nothing to do with Cygnus Solutions, which produced open source tools like gcc and Cygwin before merging into Red Hat in 1999.


PS: There would be no joy for open source in this patent either:

http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.1/#screenshots-dolphin
http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.1/screenshots/dolphin-icons.png

Hence any open source interests, such as the Linux Foundation, would be likely to side with Microsoft, Apple and Google in the context of this lawsuit.

Edited 2008-12-28 05:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Prior Art
by pantheraleo on Sun 28th Dec 2008 08:41 UTC
pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

I wrote some C code back in 1996 that when called, would take a thumbnail image of a given file (HTML, image, Word document, etc) and save it as an icon. So I think even I can claim prior art on this lame patent troll.

It never even occurred to me to try to patent it. It was a trivial utility program that solved a need we had for an internal application.

This has got be one of the lamest cases of patent trolling I have ever seen. I'm sure I am only one of hundreds if not thousands of developers who can step forward and say "prior art" to invalidate this one.

Edited 2008-12-28 08:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Adobe
by 3rdalbum on Sun 28th Dec 2008 10:00 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Photoshop has been creating thumbnails and setting them as the image file's icon for as long as I remember; at least on the Macintosh.

Reply Score: 2

Can the indexing file break them?
by eantoranz on Mon 29th Dec 2008 14:32 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

So.... if the implementation of the preview doesn't have an indexed file, the patent doesn't apply? Can that break the suit?

Reply Score: 2