me up Scotty! Acacia’s Patent Claims invention of Teleportation
For those that
have been following Acacia and the other broad patent (abuse) cases,
you will have seen that companies INTERPRET their patents to mean
something much broader than originally described. Since Acacia has
gone on the war path of notifying websites of the interpretation
of their patent infringements, I felt it was only fair to further
interpret their patent.
In the ‘992
patent, the patent authors make a claim that can be attributed to
teleportation, the movement of objects from one location to another
as seen on Star Trek. Let’s take a look at the actual language
of the patent.
For those following
at home, click here
to view the entire patent.
to the patent reads
video transmission and receiving system
A system of
distributing video and/or audio information employs digital signal
processing to achieve high rates of data compression. The compressed
and encoded audio and/or video information is sent over standard
telephone, cable or satellite broadcast channels to a receiver specified
by a subscriber of the service, preferably in less than real time,
for later playback and optional recording on standard audio and/or
While the abstract
states audio and video, Acacia claims any kind of digitized information.
On the patent
page, do a search for the word physical
You will come
to this paragraph
system 100 of a preferred embodiment of the present invention preferably
includes source material library means for temporary storage of
items prior to conversion and storage in a compressed data library
means.The items of information may
include analog and digital audio and video information as well as
physical objects such as books and records which require conversion
to a compatible media typebefore converting, compressing
and storing their audio and video data in the compressed data library
To help you
go through these two paragraphs, I’ll give you the quick summary
of their patent.
2a of their patent application has a diagram at the bottom that
illustrates the patent application.
Library (item 111) contains stuff to be digitized, and is assigned
a unique ID in the Identification Encoding Process (item 112). The
thing is then digitized in items 113 to 116, then the digitized
file is compressed at item 117, and then stored in a Data Library.
From here, the person selects the file that they want and it is
sent to them. (Keep in mind, the invention is based on ordering
movies for your television [Video on Demand] ).
In reading the
patent excerpt above, you may start to see the reference to teleporation.
The blue highlight marks the reference. So you are probably thinking,
sure, they mean to digitize a book by scanning the pages and to
digitize a record into digital audio.
The next paragraph
brings it home:
As shown in
FIG. 2a, the source material library means included in transmission
system 100 preferably includes a source material library 111. The
source material library 111 may include different types of materials
including television programs, movies, audio recordings, still pictures,
files, books, computer tapes, computer disks, documents of various
sorts, musical instruments, and other physical objects. These
materials are converted to or recorded on a media format compatible
to the digital and analog inputs of the system prior to being compressed
and stored in a compressed data library 118. The different media
formats preferably include digital or analog audio and video tapes,
laser disks, film images, optical disks, magnetic disks, computer
tapes, disks and, cartridges.
Musical instruments and other physical objects?????? With this paragraph,
the inventors have claimed an invention that can take a saxophone,
digitize it into 1’s and 0’s and you can then order
up the saxophone in a Shopping Channel type method, and have the
saxophone be teleported to your home through your cable connection.
Now this is what the Patent Office would consider ‘Novel’!
is that someone has already PATENTED
a Teleporter. Since the filing date of this application was in 1989,
it would be the prior art to invalidate Acacia’s claims on
Teleportation. And to the guy that filed the patent for the Teleporter,
looks like he watched one too many Star Trek episodes to think that
he is the inventor, probably thinks he’s Captain Kirk.
So what have
we learned today? Patents can be written to be very broad and can
be interpreted to mean whatever you want them to mean. Just as long
as you have attorneys and money, you can sue anyone for anything.
Unfortunately, it’s not a funny joke as smaller companies
can’t afford to fight absurd claims and many times, end up
folding their business or stop engaging in the "infringed claim".
Special thanks to one of FightThePatent's Legal Eagle readers for
pointing out the musical instruments reference.
Editors Note: 1-sept-2003
The article is satirical in making the interpretation of Acacia claiming
patent on Teleportation. Inbetween the humor lies these points:
1) patents are sometimes written very broadly and slip by the USPTO
2) patents can be interpreted by the patent holder to mean whatever
they think it means
3) patent holders sue companies to try and enforce their interpretations
4) patents can be invalidated by finding prior art, and by explaining
to the judge and jury that the patent is not feasible, or possible.
5) that some people are humor-challenged and didn't get that Acacia
didn't really claim teleportation, that this article was mocking their
patent by drawing attention to an actual absurd section of the patent.
While Acacia really doesn't claim teleportation (atleast I hope they
don't), the article does show actual language that they used, that
could allow you to interpret that they claim teleporation.
In the event that Acacia really did claim teleportation, they would
have to deal with these
two and and