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< Channel Intelligence patent : abundance of prior art   Game Review : Alone in the Dark for XBox 360 >
Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape

Today one of the Belgian patent information centers got back to me to discuss the state of Channel Intelligence's European patent application. They confirm that the patent is indeed still under examination and that means that it has not even been sent to the local patent offices of each individual country where this patent would apply.

The patent has been under examination for over 7 years and Channel Intelligence has been gradually trying to adapt some of the claims to get it past the examinator. The fact that it is taking this long is a good sign since it means that the patent office never consider it to be into an acceptable state and it already went through several iterations. Also, since this is clearly a software patent, the representative of this Belgian information center confirmed that it will be almost impossible for this patent application to be approved in Europe.

He suggested that I put a comprehensive dossier together with all prior art and detailed explanations about how they invalidate the novelty and inventiveness of the patent. This seems to correspond with what's written in article 115 of the European Patent Convention. The examinator however has no obligation to take this into consideration. At his sole discretion he can decide to use or ignore the information that is sent to him.

However, that's not all. In the very unlikely event that this patent might be accepted in Europe, there's still a 9 month period after the acceptance date where an official protest can be filed. This doesn't have to be done through a lawyer and can simply be coordinated with a local patent office. Such actions however can't be ignored and will have to be examined in detail by the global European Patent Office.

I thus plan on creating this dossier and also publish it on my blog. Anybody that feels strongly against this patent will then be able to use this information to send his or her own letter to the patent office. If we coordinate this correctly, they might not be able to ignore the pressure.

Thanks a lot everyone for all your support. I'm amazed at how friendly and helpful everyone has been so far.

posted by Geert Bevin in Channel Intelligence vs. Uwyn on Jul 24, 2008 8:47 PM : 8 comments [permalink]
 

Comments

Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Hi Geert,

Just read your blog post, and tried your app, too. These people seem to be quite something, I guess they have nothing better to do. Do keep everyone posted, and let us know if you still need help collecting examples of prior art, etc. It seems there'd be plenty of examples of creating and sharing lists on the Web....

-- Frank Sommers
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Geert,

Kinda off topic, but as you used to use XDevelop to develop rife, any ideas what's happened to OmniCore? Looks like their site has not been updated for a long time and I cannot even find their forums (I used to use CodeGuide a long long time ago and there used to be an active forum for CodeGuide...)
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Hi Behrang,

Omnicore is not working on their products anymore and they took the forums down. It was too hard for them to make a living in the current world of free IDEs.

Best regards,

Geert
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Hi Frank,

thanks a lot for the support. I am indeed collecting prior art in this post: http://www.rifers.org/.../channel_intelligence_prior_art
If you stumble into something that might also be considered prior art, please add them as a comment.

Your help is much appreciated.

Take care,

Geert
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
What a refreshing thing to read, common sense in a world of chaos.

I am so pleased there is a route, and it sounds like these guys are on a losing wicket here, but the more data we can collect the better.

Geert, i am on the road at the moment, so shout if you need anything from me.
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Hi Geert,

That's very sad to hear :( Sometimes I think maybe there is something wrong with free software products. While sometimes it innovates, sometimes it kills innovation.

This reminds me of the Netscape/IE story. In the early days, while Netscape was superior and much better than IE, just because IE was free, most people simply ignored Netscape...

Anyway, thanks for sharing the information.

All the best and good luck for you in your fight against this patent trolls! God I hate software patents! Suppose that somebody had patented bubble sort, quick sort, and merge sort! Or arrays!
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Wow these people are unbelievable. Trying to shutdown a piece of free software that that does a very common thing such as a wish list. If they are so darn innovative why don't they create a better wish list? Anyway I will spend some time hunting material to help make the case of prior art. Fight the good fight.
Re: Channel Intelligence's European patent application is in bad shape
Hi Geert,

Just finally tuning in (haven't checked my RSS feeds in a while). Sorry to hear about the patent infringement lawsuit, and I seriously hope this thing gets invalidated.

It's hard to see how databases and their corresponding client tools wouldn't be prior art, since databases are designed to provide lists and foreign key relationships, which are essentially lists of lists. Wacko.

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