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Thursday, December 15, 2005

DRM Patents

Over at Freedom to Tinker mention was made of First 4 and SunnComm patents. As a patent attorney, I thought it might be interesting to see what these companies had in the line of patents and patent applications. I thus availed myself of the USPTO web site search engines and found six published applications of interest.

First, SunnComm had two patent applications assigned to it (one abandoned), and two others with the same inventors (Eric Vanderwater and Peter Jacobs, both of the Phoenix area) unassigned:

US 2004-0103115 - 10/304,259
Filed 11/26/02
Abandoned 11/03/05
US 2004-0103044 - 10/412,453
Filed 4/11/03
US 2005-0278256 - 10/868,576
Filed 6/15/04
Final rejection mailed 10/24/05
US 2005-0177516 - 10/773,686
Filed 2/6/04
Non-final office action mailed 6/15/05
(which means that it is abandoned but can be revived).

First 4 Internet, LTD had two published applications assigned to it:

US 2003-0169878 A1 - 10/217,994
Docketed to examiner - 8/22/05
US 2005-0223240 A1 - 10/506,964
Docketed to examiner - 09/23/05

The US 2005-0223240 A1 application appears to be a US prosecution of an WO 2004-109681 A3 / GB 2402802 A European Patent Office (EPO) application.

Note that I haven’t had a chance to read these patent applications, nor have I looked to see if either of the two SunnComm inventors had other patents or patent applications.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their US 2005-0177516 - 10/773,686 is also rejected looking at their most recent filing status. I assume it isn't officially rejected until they are given the chance to appeal.

This patent application covers the fundamental technology supporting MediaMax. If it is rejected, I wonder where it stands.

Since you are a patent lawyer, I would appreciate whether you could read the most recent status filing and indicate whether it is saying:

1. That the technology infringes the referenced patent, so they cannot market it once the final rejection is made


2. It doesn't infringe, but the referenced patent represents prior art, so they can market their MediaMax product but will not be granted a patent to support it. This I assume would mean that any other company can offer the same technology?

8:19 AM  
Blogger the zapkitty said...

Logged this over at Freedom To Tinker, then realized it should have gone here...

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US 2005-0177516 - 10/773,686 Filed 2/6/04

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