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Subject: Re: [emergency] Geolocation E911 Patented

On Fri, 2005-07-08 at 09:52 -0600, Carl Reed OGC wrote:
> Anyway, in the Geo space, most patents are frivolous. There is a tremendous 
> amount of prior art in the GIS industry. The problem is that many companies 
> that apply for patents in the geo space have no idea of what has been done 
> before. The problem is exacerbated by a US Patent Office (or should I say 
> policy) that simply cannot properly evaluate all the patents being applied 
> for.

I'm sure many of them know exactly what has been done before. It is
pretty hard for an independent developer to go up against a company
holding a patent, if nothing else but for the fact that they will pull
the process out and make it last long enough to put you out of business
(I've worked at some places that take this exact approach - they will
outspend you in order to win - and the first one to fall sets

A company down the road from me by the name of Acacia is the prime
example of this:

"... Among the acquired patents are those covering technology related to
broadcast equipment, credit card receipt processing, peer to peer
network communications, spreadsheet programs, datamatrix bar codes and
image resolution or enhancements."

Patent Name: Audio and video receiving and transmission system (no, this
is not a joke)

They exist solely to extract money using the outspend and profit model.
And they aren't the only ones.


> This said, it is hard to determine whether the IP 911 patent meets the 
> requirements for a patent. Below my signature is a really nice synopsis (I 
> must confess I wrote this so I hope it is correct!) of what constitutes a 
> valid patent under US law.

It doesn't, which is why I posted it. Many carrier networks are IP-based
and/or have IP overlay. Proximity services are nothing new. Their
so-called unique combination of functionality is really not unique at


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