In a scatheing reply, the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office has refuted claims made in Freedom Scientific's latest appeal in the placemarker patent case. All 7 claims made on the original patent were again affirmed as being invalid, with a point-by-point summary included for the office's reasoning for the rejection of each point included in the 32-page reply. Once again, we've converted the entire reply into plain text for your review. Freedom Scientific is once again expected to appeal, and this could still end up back in the courts. The original suit was filed in July of 2008.
Their first appeal was rejected last December. This all stems from a 2008 lawsuit filed by Freedom Scientific against GW Micro upon the introduction of a place marker feature in Window-Eyes 7 which Freedom Scientific claimed violated their patent. If this latest appeal is rejected, there may still be further recourse available through the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or even the U.S. Supreme Court, should they choose to hear the case, though the latter seems rather unlikely.
wow! This rejection is pretty brutal, but also very accurate IMHO. IN its original incarnation, the placemarker feature in JAWS was nothing more than a means of remembering a relative position within a virtual document with no regard to what may be located at said virtual position. It was a start, but hardly anything to brag about or patent. FS really needs to give this a rest, and I say this as a 15-year JAWS user.
darknexus Wednesday, 09-Jun-2010 5:00 PM ET:
What's ridiculous is that fs is wasting money on this instead of, oh I don't know, actually fixing age old bugs in their products? There are still some bugs in jaws that have been there since version 3.0 (the loss of focus when closing a window bug being a good example). Guess litigating is taking up all their time and they don't feel the need to actually compete anymore. Oh well, this will bring about their much needed downfall if it keeps up.
darknexus Wednesday, 09-Jun-2010 8:22 PM ET:
One other thing. The real way to stop this ridiculousness is to eliminate software patents altogether. Our wonderful country, however, doesn't seem to let common sense interfere with the all powerful dollar.
tonyspeaks Thursday, 10-Jun-2010 08:37 AM ET:
FS is probably too firmly rooted in the market to fall entirely, but they have a terrible reputation. oh, and by the way, why is it that GW Micro didn't sue FS over access to the system tray? GW did it first, and FS came later. It's because GW has more important things on their mind. FS only cares about pleasing their investors, which is the main reason why that buy-out was a grand foul-up.
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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.