Call to Arms - Finding Prior Art |
by Brandon Shalton, August 12, 2003 10:49am
If you wondering,
how do all of these patents affect me if I have audio or video clips
on my website, then heres the most direct answer: If you have
any audio or video clips on your website, you are in violation of
several patent holder claims. They have been granted protection
by the US (and European) Government to keep people from using their
patented ideas, which means, you cannot distribute digitized audio/video
files from your website without paying them a license.
that have been served with papers are mounting up their defense
and an organization called The Internet Media Protective Association
(http://www.impai.org) has been formed.
The way to successfully
defeat a patent is to find prior art.
Art" in laymen terms means evidence that a patented idea had
already been publicized or used prior to the patent that was filed.
If I filed a
patent claim that said that I am going to patent toilet paper, and
the date of my filing was Aug. 18, 2003, and assuming the Patent
Office never used toilet paper because their heads were up their
a** and granted me the patent, someone would have to prove that
toilet paper existed before 2003 by showing some kind of evidence.
of evidence is called "prior art", and it would be used
to prove that a patent was not original, and therefore it would
The Acacia patent
basically describes an entire system, comprised of individual pieces
of technology that achieve the following: Digital content that has
been compressed (to reduce transmission time, and in a smaller size
than the original raw digital data), stored on a server, downloaded
by a user request (ie. phone line, x.25, satellite, internet, etc)
with playback on a PC. This entire process does not work in real
time, more of a store-and-forward methodology.
All of the patent
holders are specific about digitized audio and video that is transferred
from one location to another for viewing, rather than relying on
having the video tape to view.
One way to refute
the patent, is to find the prior art back in the BBS days. Bulletin
Board Services were like web servers, but before web servers were
around. Computer users would connect via modem to the BBS to read/post
messages to message boards, play online games, and to download/share
All new technology
surfaces first in the adult industry, and digitized audio and video
made their appearances on adult BBS in the form of .GL files. George
Phillips created the GRASP player well before 1991 that allowed
for the playback of moving pictures. His technology was utilized
by adult content producers to make digitized clips that were very
novel at the time since previously, porn was found only as images
In digging back
to the BBS days, we need to find some .GL files that were dated
pre-1990. Finding a .GL file that was a digitized movie could prove
the Acacia patent to be invalid. The .GL file would represent:
or Video content, that was as compressed into the .GL format, that
was stored on a BBS, with transmission via phone lines, with playback
on a PC.
Finding a .GL
file is not enough. There needs to be documentation within the clip
of a copyright notice prior to 1990 as well as finding the company
that produced the file to provide documentation that the file was
For those involved
in the Telecommunications field, your experiences of Video On Demand,
Video over ISDN starting before 1990 would be greatly helpful. Please
contact me if you are an individual that fits this experience area.
If you find
some potential prior art, feel free to send it to us and we will
research and compile the results and send it to the attorneys fighting
the patent claims.