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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: David
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 11:14:42 GMT
User-agent: ProNews/2 V1.53.cp050

On Thu, 13 May 2004 22:12:35 UTC, T. Max Devlin <> wrote:

> On Thu, 13 May 2004 23:43:44 +1000, "Wally" <where'>
> wrote:
> >
> >"theodp" <> wrote in message
> >">
> >| Bill Gates is the assignee of a patent issued Tuesday for a 'Method
> >| and system for generating a user interface for distributed devices'
> >| [1], which can be used to control lighting systems, heating systems,
> >| elevators, and various electronic systems (e.g., monitors, cameras,
> >| and CD players) in a large environment, such as a large building, a
> >| factory, or a large house.
> >|
> >| [1],734,879
> >
> >
> >The 1st claim says
> >
> >
> >1. A user interface system, comprising:
> >
> >at least one space object including a list of spatial services corresponding
> >to the space represented by the at least one space object;
> >
> >at least one spatial service object representing at least one behavior
> >associated with the space represented by the at least one space object; and
> >
> >a user control point (UCP) object including a space resource user control
> >(RUC) object for the space having at least one spatial service resource user
> >control (RUC) object, wherein the UCP object refers to a space object of
> >said at least one space object and instantiates a spatial service RUC object
> >for each of said at least one spatial service object, and wherein each
> >spatial service RUC object refers to a corresponding at least one spatial
> >service object, and wherein at least said space object or one of the spatial
> >service objects receives an indication of the type of the UCP device.
> >
> >
> >So its nothing as simple as flipping a light switch
> Well, yeah, it is, it is just broken down into very obscure language.
> One is tempted to say obfuscated.  In truth it is just specifically
> broad.  "If you show a window here, which connects to a piece of
> software here, and shows these things as they are shown, you are in
> violation of our patent."  And for that they may not patent something
> as simple as flipping a light switch, but you may have to somehow pay
> him just a little bit of money every time you turn on your lights.
> Granted, it isn't conceivable that might happen, but it is possible.

  I've seen several patents granted to companies in specific industries
that basically patent ideas in standards.  For instance, I had to
explain to management why a competitors patent was so broad it was
meaningless.  Basically it described a patent on method of a database
that was already described by a telecom standard.  Further, they
patented the concept that they had a database on their side and thus
anyone who created a product for the original telecom standard would
have been in violation of the patent.  That violated the principle
of the standard and thus was eventually rendered moot since it was
described as part of the standard.


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