[Beowulf] How do I work around this patent?

Nifty Tom Mitchell niftyompi at niftyegg.com
Tue Sep 22 19:07:41 EDT 2009


On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 01:55:11PM -0700, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
> Subject: [Beowulf] How do I work around this patent?
> 
> I joined this community many years ago to learn about GRID computing...

> 
> "...Worlds.com filed a lawsuit ....  for violating patent 7181690.

This sounds like this is a patent for implementing the dictionary 
definition of an avatar.  The dictionary definition may provide prior art  ;-)
and narrow their applicability.

Reading through it the implementation includes bits I know or suspect to
be in well known programs like Microsoft Flight simulator, the SGI "dog"
multiuser flight simulator an SGI paper airplane demo that prunes the 3D
space to render and interact with all combined with bits of centralized
"Go" and "Chess" game servers that have been out there almost as long
as the internet.  And Big Bertha networked progressive slot machines too..

Greg and Jim's comments are spot on.
Greg has his name on some clever patents, I do not know abut Jim.

One of the critical points in a patent is that it not be obvious.
So the point that you should not look at patents is spot on.  If
you reinvent the idea with trivial effort - one point to you.

So.. Unplug your development stations from the Internet and go back
to work in isolation on a private internet.  Document your design and
go see a patent attorney with your design. Update the design and send
him/her updates on a regular basis.  In some cases he does not need to
read them, just date and file them.  In your design document comment on
all the moving parts, trivial, clever, novel, critical to the product etc.
A good one may also see value in things you might dismiss.
Keep the inventor list up to date too.

One IMPORTANT point is the moment (date time stamp) that your code is
seen live outside of the lab.  Alpha and Beta testers can start the clock
for you on some critical bits.  Same for investor disclosure without NDA etc...
demos for the kids etc.

Good legal advice can help on all these bits.



-- 
	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
	Found me a new hat, now what?

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