Company sues Facebook over somethingorother
Unified, horizontal system for communications...bitch!
An Ohio-based technology company is suing Facebook for patent infringement, claiming it invented the platform the insanely popular social networking site uses to store and manage information.
Leader Technology claims Facebook infringes on its patent for "dynamic association of electronically stored information with iterative workflow change," issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office on November 21, 2006.
Leader asked that Facebook stop using the technology and seeks unspecified damages.
"We have spent a great amount of time and effort in procuring our intellectual property and have taken the steps necessary to protect our proprietary and inventive ideas," said Michael McKibben, founder of Leader in a statement. (Apparently, the first step is announcing the lawsuit to the media before Facebook gets a look at it).
Leader's patent describes the data management tool as "a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships."
Pretty straight forward then. The suit was filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
By the way, congratulations Facebook on the fifth lawsuit against you this year! My, but you're getting so big! ®
Oooh, a "database" patent!
"a common workflow layer that is automated with a scalable, relational database. The tool includes a relational database engine that facilitates many-to-many relationships among data elements, in addition to, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships"
So they'll actually have to sue Oracle, IBM (for DB2), Sybase, Sun/MySQL, Firebird, PostgreSQL because all of those are capable of "many-to-may, one-to-many relationship mapping".
Of course, if the patent actually is about the coupling of a common workflow layer automated with any RDBMS ... well, they'll have to sue Sun over J2EE and subsequent Java EE 5 releases. Except um... J2EE's been around since last century.
Or SAP AG, as they do workflows. Or Notes, which I think also uses an RDBMS. Or GroupWise. Hell, even Microsoft has a "common workflow layer using RDBMS" under the name of Microsoft CRM (or whatever its called now) with their offerings!
This would mark a first, I actually hope that Facebook wins this stupid patent troll lawsuit!
By George there's not even software involved this time!
The problem is patently obvious but surely there must be some point of no return when the US patent office gets fed up with being the laughing stock of the world and decides to sort itself out, or are they all on huge retainers from law firms?
Sounds like the US patent office could use a good kick in the spuds.