Feeds

Google, Yahoo! and Amazon sued over email patent

Polaris missile

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.