Feeds

W3C launches appeal to scupper Apple patent

All your updates are belong to Cupertino

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
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.