Feeds

Google, Yahoo! and Amazon sued over email patent

Polaris missile

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.