Feeds

Google, Yahoo! and Amazon sued over email patent

Polaris missile

Top three mobile application threats

The biggest names on the internet have been sued by a patent holding company which claims the firms are violating its rights by automatically routing email messages.

Google, Amazon, Borders, Yahoo!, AOL and Ask.com owner IAC have been named in the suit, filed by Polaris in the famously patent owner-friendly jurisdiction of the Eastern District of Texas.

The patent in question, US patent number 6,411,947, covers the automatic interpretation and answering or forwarding of an email message.

The patent filing says that it covers: "a method for automatically interpreting an electronic message, including the steps of (a) receiving the electronic message from a source; (b) interpreting the electronic message using a rule base and case base knowledge engine; and (c) classifying the electronic message as at least one of (i) being able to be responded to automatically; and (ii) requiring assistance from a human operator."

"The method for automatically interpreting an electronic message may also include the step of retrieving one or more predetermined responses corresponding to the interpretation of the electronic message from a repository for automatic delivery to the source," it said.

Polaris's claim does not make specific allegations about exactly how the patent is violated. It says of Google, for example, that it violates the patent by operating "methods and systems...implementing various websites (including, but not limited to www.google.com) that comprise interpreting electronic messages with rule base and case base knowledge engines as covered by one or more claims of the ‘947 Patent. Defendant Google is thus liable for infringement of the ‘947 Patent".

The Eastern District of Texas is renowned as a court friendly to the interests of patent-holding litigants. According to some observers, though, the courts there are beginning to take a more critical view of patent cases.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.