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What does prior art mean, Siri?

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While the world glued itself to its iPad Mini press conference and complained that being an early adopter isn’t what it used to be, a Texas company filed a patent infringement complaint against Cupertino over Siri.

Dynamic Advances alleges patents from the venerable Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York – to which it holds licenses – are infringed by Siri.

At issue is US Patent 7,177,798, issued in 2007 to two individuals working at Rensselaer, Cheng Hsu (a professor at the polytechnic) and Veera Boonjing (then Rensselaer doctoral student and now a professor at a Thai university).

The complaint, posted at Scribd, notes that various Apple patent applications acknowledge the ‘798 patent as prior art (as well as in patents filed by HP, Microsoft, Sony and Google).

Dynamic Advances is focusing on claims such as:

A computer-implemented method for processing a natural language input comprising:

• receiving a natural language input;

• providing from said natural language input a plurality of language-based database objects;

• identifying a finite number of permutations of the plurality of database objects, the database objects being stored in a metadata database comprising at least one of a group of information comprising case information, keywords, information models, and database values; and

• interpreting at least one of the permutations to provide determination of a result of the natural language input.

While not specifying damages, the patent troll plaintiff asks for a “reasonable royalty” as its minimum claim.

Over at the Gametime IP blog, this post suggests a link between Dynamic Advances and a “patent monetisation firm” IPNav, which partners with Rutgers University for patent commercialisation. ®

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