Feeds

BT loses hypertext claim

No infringement, says judge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

BT has lost its legal challenge to charge US ISPs a fee for using hyperlinks.

US judge Colleen McMahon ruled late yesterday that ISPs did not infringe a patent filed by BT more than 25 years ago.

The ruling was welcomed yesterday by those in the industry, although it was not unexpected.

In March Judge Colleen McMahon ruled that the patent for the "hidden page" - filed in 1976 and granted in 1989 - might not actually cover what we know today as "hyperlinks".

Yesterday's decision confirms that initial ruling.

Two years ago BT discovered an old patent which it claimed proved it owned the patent to hyperlinks, the devices that help link the Web together.

Six months later the UK telco filed a lawsuit against Prodigy Communications Corp in New York State in a bid to exploit its patent and claim royalties.

The legal challenge asserted BT's patented claim to hypertext links or the "hidden page" as it was described in the original patent.

Had BT been successful it could have opened the doors to a massive claim from US ISPs for revenues.

According to reports Prodigy is delighted with the decision. It has maintained throughout that BT's challenge was "shameless" and "groundless".

BT has yet to make a formal response to the ruling. However, a spokesman for BT told The Register that they were "disappointed by the judgement".

"It's [the judgement] highly detailed. We will be considering our options," he said. ®

Related Story

Ruling on BT hyperlink patent expected soon
BT mulls adverse ruling over hyperlink patent
Prodigy to fight BT's 'shameless' hyperlinks patent lawsuit
BT launches US hyperlinks legal action
BT claims ownership of hyperlinks

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.