Monday, October 23, 2006

Physical World Hyperlink Patent War Ahead?

I think it is given that 2d codes will be adopted before 1d (barcodes) as the physical world hyperlink of choice, so I have started to notice an interesting licensing trend take place.

I wonder if this will affect the physical world connection companies that use 2d codes for camera phone scanning.

Veritec , and their wholly owned subsidiary VCode Holdings Inc, has been announcing licensing agreements in the past couple weeks with some pretty large companies. They include Texas Instruments, Allstate Insurance and Dell.

Maybe that's why they came out of bankruptcy

Veritec Inc. is the pioneer and patent holder of two-dimensional (2D) matrix coding technology. The company is engaged in developing, marketing, and selling encoding (writing) and decoding (reading) software and system products that utilize its patented technology. The Veritec codes allow end-users to produce and interpret secure coded data for identification, and verification purposes.

Veritec developed a 2D matrix symbology, during the late 80's, which was endorsed by NASA as the code of choice for their vendors. The 2-D code symbol is a small, checkerboard-like matrix and has the highest data capacity and density.

Data Matrix, while a public domain code, has a patent troll hanging around it that creates a lot of headaches for companies that use it for codes. This company below was awarded some patents around the same time as Acuity, who invented data matrix.

Thus there is a bunch of litigation around the code and major companies are being forced to license the code format creating a bunch of problems.

Data Matrix is the format used by a number of the physical world connection companies.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott,

I don't think a reasonable licensing agreement can really be considered patent trolling. Why do you hate them so much?

JPetroInc said...

I've learned long ago that future predictions of 'gloom and doom' sell newspapers. I've stopped buying most of those that do...