Monday, August 13, 2007

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Refiles Patent Exam Request Of NeoMedia's "Bogus Patent"


The ongoing saga with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and NeoMedia continues.

Back in April the EFF asked the US Patent office to review NeoMedia's mobile barcode patent.mobile barcode patent

The EFF took aim at a bogus patent threatening innovative technologies that enhance consumer awareness, requesting a reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Apparently the EFF incorrectly filed the review and the Patent Office rejected the request for review in late July. This is completely different from the Patent Office approving the patents, as some have suggested.

Just a few days later, the EFF refiled a request to review NeoMedia's patents.

It was also confirmed on page 43 of NeoMedia's latest 10Q filing

"Also on the patent front, during July 2007 the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected an application by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to invalidate the Company’s patents and intellectual property on how camera phones read, translate, and process images and codes. The Electronic Frontier Foundation refiled their application in August 2007"

I couldn't find a separate press release from NeoMedia announcing this.

ScanBuy and NeoMedia have an ongoing lawsuit regarding this intellectual property and a Markman hearing is scheduled for November.

Here's what I ponder.

Would, or should, a judge render a decision in a case on a patent that is currently being reviewed by the US Patent Office?

If the Patent Office does decide to review the patents, who has the most to lose, NeoMedia or Cornell Capital?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to see this patent go down. Basically, it seems to stop anyone using a redirect in combination with a barcode. It's pretty obvious that a barcode can encode a URL and a URL can be redirected.

Anonymous said...

My how the drums drum louder.
Should be an interesting call
this AM but it won't be. The repitition is overwhelmingly boring and continually inconclusive.
What's new--like the old Broadway
Play - PROMISES PROMISES. Nothing new here ---SOS---just like the
I-HUBBERS.

brewskih said...

Anonymous,

This patent doesn't cover Data matrix or QR codes that have the URL embedded directly into them. It also doesn't cover those same codes with information embedded in them like a business card etc.

Thats why NEOM does not own the bridge to this space that so many have claimed they did for a long time, until they were challenged on those statements.

Then the claim became one that NEOM owns the bridge for indirect coding, which according to this same group is dynamic, where the other process isn't. Another misstatement of the facts by that group, and even the CEO of announce mobile in his blog told them it was false, and both methods could be dynamic.

NEOMs patented process requires the symbol contain an unique identifier in the code. When someone clicks on that code the identifier is sent to NEOM's servers, where it is matched up to an URL address to a web site. That URL address is then sent back to the users cell phone where they can launch it in their browser.

The direct method uses no servers to identify the web address or URL. The URL is embedded directly in the code and when clicked on takes the user directly to that address.

Anonymous said...

Brewskih,

Thanks for the info.

Are you saying that if I

1. encode a URL in a barcode, and
2. that URL is for a redirected page (like TinyURL),
3. the redirected URL for which can be changed,

then the NEOM patent doesn't cover it?

Anonymous said...

BTW... TinyURL links do have unique identifiers, like http://tinyurl.com/abc123

Anonymous said...

What a clown? You still are still completing the transaction to go from a barcode to get information from the mobile web.

It has been COVERED.

Brew how many times are you going to beat a subject to death.


Another post that will be posted else where.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that the only posts you receive comments on, are the ones about NeoMedia ;)

BTW ~ The EFF ain't got a fucking chance in hell.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why the comments have to take an offensive direction.

Brewskih, any comment on what I said about encoding a URL with an unique identifier such as a TinyURL that redirects to another site?

brewskih said...

Annoymous, you are absolutly correct. Redirecting a code on your own servers is not something NEOM has the patents on and is as old as computers. So lets say you have a 2d QR barcode on a product of yours, and that code takes the user to a deep page on your web site server(not your home page) and at a later date you dont want it to go to that page any longer because that contest is over and a new one has begun. You simply do a redirect on your server directing that code to the new page.

Its basically the same as the NEOM process, except in this case you are using your own servers, and not a third party resolution server, to send the person to where you want them to go on your site.

This joker that wants to bash me apparently dont get it. Even Jeff Mould in answer to the NEOM shareholders, on his Announce Mobile blog, explained this could be done and these codes would then be dynamic. And he is in the industry and the CEO of a company operating in this field. Not some NEOM shareholder who doesnt want the facts heard.

NEOM has never claimed the rights to redirect urls, and they never claimed the rights to 2D codes with the URL directly embedded in them. They patented a specific process that does not use an URL, but uses and identifier code instead. That code is placed in their data base along with the web address assigned to that code. Whenever a person clicks the code, the identifier is sent to their RESOLUTION SERVER. That server checks the data base, and matches the code to the URL and sends that URL back to your phone.

Again ask Jeff Mould from Announce Mobile if you have doubt. His response to this question was that the identifier going to a resolution server was more reliable then a redirect, because of human error possibilities, as well as some firms dont have the personnel to go in or the access to go in and do a redirect.

But in reality the process is the same whether its NEOM doing it to make a code dynamic or your own personnel are doing it. Either way to change where the code will take you, someone has to go into the server and change the URL. In NEOMs case they assign a new URL to the identifier code in the 2d barcode. In the other case the company does a redirect taking you to a new internal web page instead of the old one. So in either case human error is a factor, and with NEOMs erreos of late, I would rather take my chances on my own in house personnel.

Hope this helped. BTW sorry for the late reply, hadnt been here in a few days.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the detailed response, brewskih. Very useful information.

brewskih said...

Annonymous,

Sorry I missed a part of your question. I just noticed you also asked about web address' that use unique identifiers such as is the case with tinyurl.

Tinyurl has not been violating NEOMs patented process either and pays no licensing fees to NEOM. Their process of taking a long url and shortening it for convenience purposes on the WWW, is not the same as NEOMs process of taking a picture of a unique identifier via a 2d barcode and then matching that identifier up on a server. One is a web generated application, and the other is a cell phone and camera based application. two completely different processes even though they are very similiar in the end results.

Using pictures, words or unique ids ahave been a part of HTML since the web has been around. For example if you build your own web pages, as you write the language to post each page, you use things like the word home to take you back to the home page. That is a unigue identifier in essence, and in your programming language you assigned the word home to take you to a specific web address on your site. You could of just as easily used the numbers 12345 to take you there, but the user reading your home page wouldnt understand what 12345 means, as everyone knows home takes you back to the home page.

In a 2d code the user dont need to see whats in the code necessarily, so numbers can be used to take them to different sites. Although I think the code should allow the user to see where its taking them as QR and Data Matrix can, so the user knows its not a fraud or some kind of code to lead to a virus or something. This has been discussed on some blogs as the preferred method.

The other benefit is you dont have to pay someone to store and manage your codes in their data bases or resolution servers. You can make your own codes free of charge and put them up anywhere the vendors will allow you and their customers who click them will come to your site, and it dont cost you based on per clicks or whatever the billing models turn out to be in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brewskih.

As I understand what you've told me, NEOM's patented process requires the cameraphone to communicate with a server to retrieve a URL, and a simple redirection would not qualify for this.

Also, I understand that they basically have a patent on this process for the USA only, since companies like Upcode and Kaywa use similar processes.

BTW, I sent you an IM using Yahoo! IM.