Sony and Activision Get (Patent) Trolled

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Honestly, I don't think Uniloc is being stupid here, this is a chance to get a lot of cash, they're a business, so they're going for it.

The stupid people are the ones who issued them such a disgustingly broad patent.

Wouldn't it be great if all DRM systems ceased and desisted because of this? LOL!

Plurralbles:
it seems too abstract an idea to patent...

Exactly, it seems that way, but they probably do have a right to sue, because they do have the patent.

The people who did something wrong here are the ones that approved such an insanely broad patent.

Uniloc lose.

The end.

But seriously I am getting sick and tired of these patents that small companies supposedly made decades ago.

Hope they win, after all SONY, Activison and Co. are "infringing on their Copyright" considering this patent and it'd just be poetic justice...

The only thing worse than DRM is software patents. Linux geeks have been trying to tell you this for years.

One would think a patent would be so specific it would be difficult to prove someone is copying and/or infringing upon, but with all these patent infringement suits I have to wonder if I could do a ten worded essay on my concept for "Purple People Eater Containment Systems" and have it made from then on. (see diagram ab-23 for further details)
This is interesting timing after Kotick just settled a suit. Guess they figure the company he is running will be just as capitulating.

KeyMaster45:
Cases like these really piss me off, people file for broad vague patents on technology; NEVER do a damned thing with it and then decide "Hey, lets sue these people for comming up with an idea we failed to ever follow through on since we have this piece of paper saying it's ours."

See also: Tim Langdell.

I think DRM is too vague a thing to sue people over. It's like the bicycle company suing cars because they stole the idea of a wheel-based transportation vehicle.

To be honest, I'm not sure which I hate most, frivolous lawsuits that have no purpose than to serve the greed of the plaintiff, or DRM...

I am at a moral quandary...

It may require further investigation, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tim Langdell is somehow involved. Or those folks who sued Microsoft for Word being XML compatible.

Uniloc invented serial keys and has been using them since 1992 up till about 2002, with it's main licensee being sega. In other words, they actually used their patent for something until bigger corporations fucked them over.

I hope they win. Not only because they are right for once but also because it means the end of DRM.

This is a bit stupid really, I mean it's so vague and ambigous that they shouldn't have a case at all.

GO UNILOC! SecuROM sucks. It's annoying, it restricts the honest customer needlessly(I own GTA IV, but I have to crack it in order to run it with Daemon Tools, a perfectly lawful program, running), and it does exactly nothing to stop pirates. Perhaps with this lawsuit SecuROM will die off entirely.

SnootyEnglishman:
More people trying to bring down the big companies for stuff they supposedly made years ago but have done nothing sense? When will it stop.

As much as I'd like to agre with you here the target is SecuROM. I have a particular hatred for SecuROM and anyone who used it. I even have a sore spot with Bethesda because retail Fallout 3 used it, and Fallout 3 is one of my all-time favorite games.

GO UNILOC!

Plurralbles:
it seems too abstract an idea to patent...

You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/crazy.html

United States Patent 6360693
An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance. The toy is formed of any of a number of materials including rubber, plastic, or wood including wood composites and is solid.

So, it's a stick.

SadisticDarkling:
But seriously I am getting sick and tired of these patents that small companies supposedly made decades ago.

Yeah, the ones made more recently and by bigger companies are much better (sarcasm).

United States Patent 7716089
An electronic commerce system provides various features for assisting customers in locating items and generating orders from a merchant's electronic catalog, and for assisting customers and merchants in communicating about such orders. A user-definable categories feature allows customers and/or merchants to define search queries for searching the electronic catalog, and to store these search queries under user-defined category names for subsequent use. An "active quote" feature allows the customer to view and modify quantities of items selected for prospective purchase throughout various catalog browsing or viewing modes. A message audit trail feature allows a customer and a merchant to send messages to one another that are linked to a particular order, and to view an order-specific log of such messages.

United States Patent 5960411
A method and system for placing an order to purchase an item via the Internet. The order is placed by a purchaser at a client system and received by a server system. The server system receives purchaser information including identification of the purchaser, payment information, and shipment information from the client system. The server system then assigns a client identifier to the client system and associates the assigned client identifier with the received purchaser information. The server system sends to the client system the assigned client identifier and an HTML document identifying the item and including an order button. The client system receives and stores the assigned client identifier and receives and displays the HTML document. In response to the selection of the order button, the client system sends to the server system a request to purchase the identified item. The server system receives the request and combines the purchaser information associated with the client identifier of the client system to generate an order to purchase the item in accordance with the billing and shipment information whereby the purchaser effects the ordering of the product by selection of the order button.

So, it's a shop.

(Those two are owned by Amazon.com)

Seriously, the whole patents system has been a joke for the past 10 or 20 years. You just use complicated-sounding language and you can patent anything you like. In the past, patents were intended to enable people to make a living by inventing. There would not have been as much innovation if inventors knew an invention could be freely ripped off by a bigger company as soon as they got wind it. Society benefitted because when you file a patent, you have to include enough data in the submission for another engineer to be able to build your invention, and after twenty years, the patent's owner loses their right to exclusivity, so the idea becomes public property. It was a trade-off: you give up the secret of how to build your invention, in exchange for being made the only person legally allowed to build it for the next twenty years. If that secret could be easily discovered by reverse engineering, then it's a no-brainer. But now, we have "inventions" that are not only obvious, but are so vague that when the patent lapses, society gains nothing. And the patent owner gains nothing other than another revenue stream from people who independently come up with the same idea, because their "secrets," if they can be called that, are harder to discover by reverse engineering.

United States Patent 7770182
An extensible editor allows integration of extensions that modify the editor's default behavior and provide customized feedback to users. The editor includes an event routing model that works to decrease the occurrence of conflicts between the editor and extensions and between extensions. Upon the occurrence of an event, the editor routes the event to each extension before the editor's default handling of the event occurs. When an extension responds to an event, the extension may "consume" the event by indicating to the editor not to allow further processing of the event. After an event has been pre-processed by each extension, the default editor acts on the event. The editor then routes the event to each extension again, to allow each extension to process the event after the default editor has acted.

Any software engineer will tell you that this kind of extensible event system is an obvious, well-known pattern.

United States Patent 7770165
A system for providing a firmware upgrade to a portable media device by comparing a version number of the firmware on the portable media device to the version number of an available firmware upgrade. The available firmware upgrade is provided by the manufacturer of the portable media device or some other trusted source and compiled in a firmware database. The firmware database is accessed when the portable media device is connected to the personal computing device. Additionally, a digital signature may be associated with a certified version of the media device firmware and used by a multimedia management application to verify the functionality of the portable media device.

Even though this is an obvious approach to take for updating firmware on a wired device, apprently applying the same concept to a portable device constitutes a brand-new, novel invention.

United States Patent 7770160
Described is a system and method for declaring a resource element in markup that is intended to be instantiated lazily only upon use at run-time rather than always at markup load time. In one embodiment, the invention provides a parent resources tag that encloses resource elements that may be any type of markup element. On compile, a specially prepared compiler/parser identifies the Resource tag and creates definitional information sufficient to describe the resource elements in such a manner that the resource elements are defined but not created at run-time when the markup is first loaded, and are created only upon use at run-time. A resource may be defined to be shared or non-shared. If shared, the resource is instantiated only once and that same instance is handed out each time the resource is accessed. If non-shared, a new instance of the resource is always created and handed out on each access of the resource.

Any software engineer will tell you that deferred, or "lazy," evaluation and shared resources are obvious, well-known patterns. But because they are here applied to a webpage, they for some reason qualify as a brand-new, novel invention.

(Those three are owned by Microsoft)

Those are just a sample from the first pages of hundreds of pages of just two companies' patents, because to go looking for more would waste too much of my time, and my point is made.

And the European system is no better.

Phoenixlight:
This is a bit stupid really, I mean it's so vague and ambigous that they shouldn't have a case at all.

You are obviously new to the world of software patents. (See my previous post.)

samsonguy920:
One would think a patent would be so specific it would be difficult to prove someone is copying and/or infringing upon, but with all these patent infringement suits I have to wonder if I could do a ten worded essay on my concept for "Purple People Eater Containment Systems" and have it made from then on.

I don't see why not. These are all real United States patents:
3216423 Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force
6826983 Light bulb changer
6637447 Umbrella for beer
5443036 Method of exercising a cat using a laser pointer (yes, it is as simple as it sounds)
4233942 Animal ear protectors (so floppy-eared dogs don't get them wet when drinking)
6368227 Method of swinging on a swing (like normal swinging, but sideways!)
6711769 Pillow with retractable umbrella
6650315 Mouse device with a built-in printer
5901666 Pet display clothing (for selling advertising space on your cat or dog)

Hey I hate Activision, and the companies that support the DRM. However, sueing a company just to earn a buck is just as bad if not worse.

At this time I'm not gonna side with either company. There is probably a lot more to this story.

oktalist:

Phoenixlight:
This is a bit stupid really, I mean it's so vague and ambigous that they shouldn't have a case at all.

You are obviously new to the world of software patents. (See my previous post.)

Word. I've known how vague and ridiculous patents are in general since Jack Palance hosted Ripley's Believe It or Not!

oktalist:

samsonguy920:
One would think a patent would be so specific it would be difficult to prove someone is copying and/or infringing upon, but with all these patent infringement suits I have to wonder if I could do a ten worded essay on my concept for "Purple People Eater Containment Systems" and have it made from then on.

I don't see why not. These are all real United States patents:
3216423 Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force
6826983 Light bulb changer
6637447 Umbrella for beer
5443036 Method of exercising a cat using a laser pointer (yes, it is as simple as it sounds)
4233942 Animal ear protectors (so floppy-eared dogs don't get them wet when drinking)
6368227 Method of swinging on a swing (like normal swinging, but sideways!)
6711769 Pillow with retractable umbrella
6650315 Mouse device with a built-in printer
5901666 Pet display clothing (for selling advertising space on your cat or dog)

I will have you know that my method for swinging sideways is the best way!
And if there's an umbrella for beer out there why isn't there an infomercial on it? So much awesome stuff and so little message. Such a waste.

If this means that DRM will dissapear completely, GO AHEAD! If it will just partially kill the devious device, then someone should burn their offices... :E

Straying Bullet:
Good. Sue these idiots who ever introduced this idiotic DRM that doesn't benefit anyone at all. I hope they win and the respective publishers stop with this nonsense completly.

Exept that the company doing the suing INVENTED the DRM in question. Praising them isn't any better than praising activision if I understand this correctly.

HAHAHAH Unilocks strategy makes as much sense as actual copyright: ideas are not created in a vacuum, and yet it is legal to own them without crediting sources, so long as you hit the patent/copyright register on your way to the bank. Thus, by copyright law logic Unilock has an actual case here.
If Unilock can prove they came up with the idea first, all these companies will have to pay for the IP they've been pirating.

Mackheath:
So those companies have been doing this for 14 years, yet only now its decided: "Hey, those companies are making money, lets grab some lol!"

I call hypocricy and hopefully a loss.

companies wait until it hits its peak, then they sue. its like a harvest but the harvest is money.

Theron Julius:
I don't even know what to say. There are so many good and bad things that could come of this that I am rendered speechless...

AC10:
This would be AWESOME if it happened.

Yes, but think of the ramifications of all those companies losing all that money. Think how much longer Diablo 3 will take when they lose all that money!

I don't care for diablo 3 not for sony not for any of them and i Sincerely hate DRM

luckily microsoft has been thru this so I can happily continue gaming for a long while :D

I Hope they win

Anyone who seriously thinks this case could in any way result in the end of DRM is seriously deluded. Just sayin'.

Dr. wonderful:

or what sony got to say:

*snip of hilarious video*

That's exactly what I was thinking the second I heard that, though I'm pretty sure the concepts are unrelated.

Unless Uniloc phrased it like this:

If I have a anti-piracy technology patent, and you have an anti-piracy technology patent, and I have a convoluted lawsuit that stretches acrooooooooss the late 90's and early 00's, to your anti-piracy technology patent, then I -- drink -- your -- milkshake! I drink it up! *copious slurp*

Only instead of getting beaten to death with a bowling pin, I image Sony and the rest will respond with a far more appropriate boot up the ass.

Please do not make me side with Sony and Activision...-sigh-

Seems stupid. This is like suing someone over adding a clock to it. Its security. They want to protect their stuff, and just having a patent over protecting digital media seems too general to really apply. I do not want Uniloc to win this (not that I want Sony or Activision to gain either)

Anyone else find it ironic that a lawsuit made in attempt to protect a company's innovations may potentially make it very difficult for companies to protect their innovations?

Otherwise I find this very amusing. It might just set DRM back for little while...

Theron Julius:
I don't even know what to say. There are so many good and bad things that could come of this that I am rendered speechless...

AC10:
This would be AWESOME if it happened.

Yes, but think of the ramifications of all those companies losing all that money. Think how much longer Diablo 3 will take when they lose all that money!

Unless they also invented CD keys Blizzard is going to be unaffected, I'm not sure about the details but I'm fairly certain that them and Activision are the same company but really two separate companies. So Blizz gets to do what ever it fucking wants and Activision gets to convert it's HQ to solid platinum from the WoW profits.

This looks to me like one more example of an over reaching patent. A device or method to reduce illegal copies?!? This could conseviably include every CD/DVD ever released since they are harder to copy than floppies that's a device that reduces copies. It could include any software that requires a log in, like facebook or WoW or the Nuclear Regulatory Commition's data base. I am just amazed that these patents made it though, it's like apples patent on "power regulation in digital camera's" This effectively gives apple a patent on digital cameras since they all need power regulation of some kind, being electronic devices.

Pray this patent gets shot down HARD, and the patent office starts getting much more restrictive on patents. I really don't want to see a patent on "cloth made of fibers"....Smuckers has already patented the PB&J sandwich.

Plurralbles:
it seems too abstract an idea to patent...

So very true. Anyway, I have to go run to the office and try and patent hot water now. If this works I am so going to rape people.

Litigation. Cos going out and doing some fucking work is just beyond some people.

OT: If this leads to the abolition of DRM and all that kinda crap, then I might suddenly be all changed around on the subject. Though I can't see that happening.

I've never rooted for a patent troll before, but there's a first time for everything! Go Uniloc!

Successful troll is SUCCESSFUL!

Sony's SecuROM, Activision's product activation and registration system, Aspyr's product registration system and others are named as specific examples of infringement which have caused "reparable and irreparable damage" to Uniloc.

Funny. I thought those systems are specific examples of things that have caused irreparable damage to the whole civilization.

ShadowKatt:
Seems like desperation to me. A last shot effort at big money before they disappear completely.

Did you miss the part where they sued Microsoft in 2003 and made $383 million out of it?! What have they done to that money meanwhile?!

EDIT: That lawsuit actually was just settled last year so obviously this is far from being a last shot but instead a: "Hey, it worked against Microsot! So look how many more big companies using our DRM technology we can still milk".

The irony is that Uniloc *has* does something in the field of DRM in the last few years: specifically, Sega's adopted them as their DRM of choice for PC games (for Alpha Protocol and AFAIK the recent Football Manager games, and probably a few more).

Eldarion:

Straying Bullet:
Good. Sue these idiots who ever introduced this idiotic DRM that doesn't benefit anyone at all. I hope they win and the respective publishers stop with this nonsense completly.

Exept that the company doing the suing INVENTED the DRM in question. Praising them isn't any better than praising activision if I understand this correctly.

I understand your perspective, but what I am trying to say is that at least let the big-ass publishers stop using it because they have to pay another party for this. So far I know and checked, the one that invented DRM isn't really using it. But maybe I am an utter fool and don't know jack. I just want Activision and the like stop implenting this anti-consumer friendly draconic meassures.

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