Feeds

Phone.com attacks Geoworks WAP patent claims in court

'Invalid and unenforceable'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

As we anticipated, a legal challenge has been made against Geoworks' WAP-related patent (US 5,327,529). Phone.com has filed suit in the District Court in San Francisco asking that the patent be declared invalid and unenforceable - and that Phone.com was not therefore infringing the patent. Phone.com says in its Complaint that Geoworks claims that "virtually the entire wireless Internet industry infringes the patent" which is claimed to cover "all WAP-compliant devices and services". However, Phone.com points out that the patent does not mention wireless Internet technology, and is directed towards object-oriented programming techniques. Nor does the patent mention markup languages. Geoworks is a member of the WAP Forum, and notified other members in January that a licence would be needed. It informed Phone.com that a licence would be needed before 1 July if enforcement action were to be avoided. Phone.com also says that the white paper that Geoworks wrote to back up its patent claim has "erroneous charts". In a damning catalogue of prior art, the court's attention is drawn inter alia to the 1986 SGML standard; Tim Berners-Lee's 1989 proposal that resulted in HTML; X-windows from 1988; and Smalltalk-80. Geoworks' response by CEO Dave Grannan was a formulaic statement that he was "surprised and disappointed". The more interesting revelation was that Phone.com has itself "filed a patent with the WAP Forum which covers much of the WAP architecture and is holding this over the heads of the entire industry, without announcing a licensing program in compliance with WAP Forum rules." We were unable to locate this patent referred to by Geoworks in the IBM patents database. That's strange. ® Related story Geoworks patent claim lobs grenade into WAP Forum

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
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
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
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.