July 14, 2004

The IPIX patent

IPIX has a patent on software to convert wide angle lens images into normal photos to be viewed in "interactive viewers". How did they get away with this? Here's a court summary from IPIX vs. Graphics Effects. Markus Altendorff has an good summary of the whole issue. Here's something interesting from the court summary...

Claim 1 was initially rejected by an Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under, inter alia, 35 U.S.C. § 103, as being obvious over U.S. Patent 5,067,019, issued to Juday et al., in light of U.S. Patent 5,068,735, issued to Tuchiya et al. The applicant challenged the propriety of the rejection by noting several deficiencies in the Juday reference vis-à-vis claim 1 and disputing the relevance of Tuchiya. Additionally, the applicant amended claim 1 in several ways, including inserting the words “transform calculation” to the section reciting the “image transform processor means,” so that “output signals” became “output transform calculation signals.” That change was made without any explanation. After receipt of the applicant’s claim amendments and arguments, the Examiner allowed claim 1 without stating in the record any reasons for the allowance.
Wired has an article from 99 prior to the IPIX IPO on their patents being "rock solid". One more resource on potentially useful prior art...

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