More details on the recent Patent lawsuit

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 6:02 AM
Tags: 2, XM

Yesterday it was discovered that Keystone Autonics was suing both XM and Sirius, but a quick search didn't help in locate the actual patent number. But thanks to a comment on Engadget, patent # 7,165,123 looks to be a winner.

The unfortunate thing is that this patent seems to apply to pretty much anything involving a mobile computer with a unique ID (so yeah, the GPS boys will probably be next on the lawsuit list). In fact, that's the title of this lovely patent: "Apparatus and method for I/O management in a mobile environment wherein access to data from a wireless signal is restricted based on a persistent unique hardware identification."

Keystone patent 

It seems ridiculous that this patent would be granted considering the amount of prior art already on the market, but hey I'm no lawyer, so who am I to critique the workings of the US patent system.

Download Patent # 7,165,123 (PDF) 



Patent law has gotten out of hand. back in the 80's, they started allowing people to patent concepts and ideas rather than actual creations, and it has been a slippery slope ever since. eventually, someone will patent the concept of patenting something, and the US patent office will have to start paying royalties for each patent issued.

Patents are totally useless until the patent holder actually wins in a court of law. Even if a company settles the case, the patent is useless until a judge says it is valid. Even then, a company sued need merely make the case that the patent is invalid.

It seems any subscriber system would require a unique number. It is a logical extension to things like AX.25. AX.25 is used in amateur radio packet networks. Since it's an open network there are no restrictions (by law) to receive the signal. Every node needs a unique ID (call sign). For private networks, it is not surprising they would take similar concepts and put a restriction system on top of it.

This is a stupid patent and it should be done away with.

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