Feeds

Yahoo! sued in price comparison patent clash

Apple's Sherlock 2, others could be under threat too

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

A New Zealand woman's lawsuit against Yahoo! for alleged patent infringement may have larger implications for the computer industry. The patent in question covers software which allows prices from different e-commerce Web sites to be pulled onto one location and compared -- something increasingly used on the Internet and is the basic idea behind Apple's MacOS-based Sherlock 2 search engine and AOL subsidiary PersonaLogic's automated buying guide technology. Yahoo! is using the technology without licence, the lawsuit claims. If the case is proved, it also raises the question of whether other companies are breaking the patent, including Apple. At the time of going to press, Apple was unable to state whether it held a licence agreement with St. Louis-based SBH -- the patent firm marketing Juliette Harrington's software. Equally, SBH was not able to provide a list of licencees. Yahoo! would not comment. A larger query remains over the patent, however, which would appear suitably vague and broad enough for companies to work unhindered within its confines. The patent's abstract states the software is: "A method of effecting commerce in a networked computer environment in a computerized system... A database of vendor product data and an associated database interface is established on a first computer. The interface allows remote access by one or more user(s). A local user interacts with the database by querying the database to specify a local users product/service specification." Sherlock allows Mac users to search multiple e-commerce sites simultaneously and produces a list of products and prices for easy, side-by-side comparison. That sounds remarkably like the kind of database Harrington's patent describes. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.