Blind Bargains

Update: Freedom Scientific Appeals GW Micro Case, We've Got the Full Text

Another chapter in the patent lawsuit between Freedom Scientific and GW Micro was concluded last December when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Freedom Scientific's appeal of the original ruling which would, in essence, wipe out the place marker patent. Freedom Scientific is allowed another appeal of the ruling, and filed this appeal in February. We have provided links to the October appeal and the resulting decision handed down in accessible plain text.
In the 12-page appeal, Freedom Scientific attempted to explain how their system of inserting place markers is different than the one employed by IBM's Home Page Reader, in that it provides more enhanced functionality. According to the claim, "the more complete story is that Freedom Scientific is a world leader in the development of products for the visually impaired (see and is merely seeking to protect its substantial investment in research and development." The 23-page response gives a multitude of reasons for the rejection, many of which were based on the IBM patent.

Read the appeal and the court's response and leave your opinions in the comments. The following files were converted from .PDF images using Omnipage Professional OCR software and may contain errors.

Freedom Scientific Appeal from October 28, 2009

Rejection Notice from December 7, 2009

By the way, the cost for filing each of these appeals is $540, according to documents available on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website.

Category: Software
Displaying 4 comments.
Blind Paladin Friday, 12-Mar-2010 09:55 AM ET:

The usual rubbish of FS attempting to lidagate rather then innovate. Sadly between the attempt to take down their compeditors, chain their Braille drivers, and maintain a shoddy system like the PAC Mate as though it's the latest technology- innovation and FS have long been strangers.

richwels Friday, 12-Mar-2010 12:03 PM ET:

WooHoo! Let's buy lots of Freedom Scientific products. (NOT!) Those research and litigation costs just keep mounting.

jgonzalezh614 Friday, 12-Mar-2010 1:34 PM ET:

In my opinion freedom scientific should not be worrying about who uses what to help people with disabilities but should be working on how to improve their products. I think they run out of ideas or they do not like other companies who come up with better ideas than them so, they go around and prevent them from helping the community. I use to be a JAWS user until I found Window-eyes and how much more stable it was than JAWS. I do not know how freedom scientific works or thinks but they better quit preventing other companies from progressing because they might get a wakeup call soon.

MGD4Ever Monday, 15-Mar-2010 6:18 PM ET:

FS is using revisionist history here. when they first went after GW Micro about the placemarker feature, FS's version of the feature could do nothing more than move the virtual cursor to a predetermined location on the screen. it did not yet contain the ability to anchor the marker to a certain piece of text. Now that they have slightly enhanced this feature, and I do mean slightly, they're appealing the rejection based on these new enhancements. this is all pretty ridiculous.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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