Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Controversy over NeoMedia's code scanning patent
I’m no patent expert, but I know how complex they are (I once had to translate a Japanese toothbrush patent – no it’s not a handle, it’s a plastic coated metal alloy holding part). From what I can gather, the patent doesn’t threaten codes such as QR codes (for which the patent is held, but not exercised by Toyota subsidiary Denso) and FP codes (invented by Fujitsu) as they simply decode a url rather than looking it up against some database. However, other systems such as Shotcodes and Scanbuy do use databases so this patent could potentially cause problems there.
As barcodescodes and databases have been used in retail for years, the patent could potentially cover these too and so various websites have been appealing for prior art to use to nullify the patent.
These patents are absolutely necessary for their company and their mobile platform qode. These patents are valid in North America, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Europe.
No one disputes "These patents are absolutely necessary for their company and their mobile platform qode."
The issue is to what extent a company should be valued by its tenuous claim to IP.
Once this "necessary" condition for NeoMedia's existence no longer exists (i.e. once EFF unearths the prior art doubtless in some QRcode inventory control system documentation in Japanese at a Japanese logistics-specialist systems integrator), does this mean that NeoMedia is valueless?
If "streetstylz" understands what he is asserting by using the term "necessary" we can safely presume he is shorting NeoMedia shares.
On the other hand, it may be that "streetstylz" continues to insert these boilerplate comments in order to bolster the value of his NeoMedia shareholdings, without ever thinking through the implications of tieing his financial future to a company whose existence is predicated on a "necessary" but dubious and not-long-for-this-world patent.
Sorry to disappoint you ... But I am a long term shareholder in NEOM.
By the way ... Maybe you should ask Virgin Entertainment, AirClic, LScan, and soon SCAMBUY how strong NeoMedia's patents really are lol ;)
Hugs & Kisses,
PS -- NeoMedia & NewsCorp join forces:
NeoMedia's qode to be Introduced in U.K. by NewsCorp's News Group Newspapers
There are patents in existence that do describe scanning and reading UPC labels. However, they are in reference to closed systems or simply in reference to hand held barcode scanning equipment.
That seems to be the case here. These previous patents do not seem to reference using UPC codes in an open system, ala NeoMedia’s patent, to connect directly to the Internet. That is the key difference between NeoMedia’s patent and the prior art provided by the EFF.
In the AirClic vs NeoMedia case, it was deemed that AirClic was connecting barcodes internally in a closed system and was not violating NeoMedia’s patents, which cover the process in an open ‘direct connect to the Internet’ system. Hence, the court already decided and acknowledged that there are two different kinds of patented processes here. Open vs Closed systems.
AirClic did not receive a license to use NeoMedia’s patented technology, and the two companies agreed that AirClic’s current business model - mobile enterprise solutions - is not in NeoMedia’s space because AirClic used a closed system.
The fact of the matter is, the EFF has ulterior motives. I have never seen a respectable lawyer use the word “bogus” in a press release. That type of language is libelous. The EFF’s whole agenda is inflammatory and attempts to distort their true motives.
Truth be told, they have intentionally left out Virgin Entertainment consistently since 2004 - because it is clear a multi-billion dollar company (that ended up settling and licensing with NeoMedia) doesn’t fit the story they are fabricating about NeoMedia going after only small companies.
The prior patents submitted by the EFF have no true commonality with NeoMedia’s patents.