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Singapore firm claims patent on image links

27 May 2008

Vuestar is a company who holds pantents on “ locating web – sites using visual images” which it claims did not exist before the year 2000. (The patents date in 2001 and 2003) See that image on my sidebar that takes you to the 350 Campain? Yeah, that’s a patent violation. And they are sending companies invoices calling for them to pay them anywhere between a couple hundred and millions of dollars in liscencing fees. They plan to take on Microsoft and Google and are “confident” they’ll win,

Hello? Hasn’t this possible at least since HTML was invented in the 90s…I’m sure it was possible before HTML, just not standardized in a few tag markers.

But this tears it. This is probably the single most ridiculous patent I have ever seen. I cannot begin to comprehend why this patent was granted. Have the patent clerks never been on the internet? Whatever happened to prior art?

If you take a look at the website, it primarily exists to tell people that they own the patent. It doesn’t say how they “invented” the “techology” or what it’s specifications are. The patent specifications can be found here, but I found them equally vague and absurd. It doesn’t explain how this is novel at all. Basically they are claiming because they are the first to patent they invented it. Heck the Singapore Government Website used this “technology” before the patent was granted! Anyone else see an issue with this?

Oh, and I sent them an e-mail asking what they thought of image-linking prior to 2000. I bet you ten-to-one they’ll never reply.

And people wonder why I advocate patent reform….

ZDNetAsia News Article
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