Feeds

W3C launches appeal to scupper Apple patent

All your updates are belong to Cupertino

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The W3C, custodians of web standards, have launched an appeal for prior art to contest an Apple patent that appears to cover any kind of automated updating procedure, including the Widget standard on which the group is working.

The patent, filed in 1995 and awarded in 1998, and which Apple revealed to the W3C in March, covers an application contacting a central server to see if a new version is available, and downloading the replacement if it is. As such it would appear to cover most of the automated updating systems commonly in use today, though the W3C is most concerned with the impact it's going to have on the forthcoming widget standards.

US patent number 5,764,992 is entitled "Method and apparatus for automatic software replacement" and explicitly states steps for updating software including:

  • detecting whether a version of the program is stored in the designated location;
  • determining whether a detected version of the program stored at the designated location is more recent than the current version of the program which is running;
  • replacing the current version of the program with a more recent version that is stored at the designated location; and
  • subsequently executing the more recent version of the program on the computer.

Which seems pretty comprehensive to us, and it's hard to see any reason why such a patent wouldn't also cover Windows Update, Firefox or any of the myriad of automatic-update systems in use today.

W3C isn't concerned about those, of course, the group is just trying to get a decent standard together for widgets - AJAX-powered applications cached locally but hosted remotely, which will certainly want to check for updates each time they are run. Thus the search for prior art, which is looking for anything that existed before June 1995 and could be used to remotely update a widget, or invalidate Apple's patent. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
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.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.