Scientigo to sue over XML uses?
From David Berlind at zdnet:
CEO of Scientigo has plans to extract royalties from those who have implemented the XML specification including Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon (actually, he could probably sue everybody), I asked the man credited with co-inventing XML — Sun's Tim Bray — what he thought of the news. Wrote Bray:
The notion that an application filed in January 1997 can cover a technology whose first public draft was in November 1996, and which was based on a then-ten-year-old ISO standard, seems ridiculous on the face of it. So one assumes that they're not trying to put a tollboth on XML itself, it must be some particular B2B application of it or some such. There are no specifics of what they're claiming on their Web site.
The then-ten-year-old ISO standard to which Bray is referring is SGML. According to Bray, XML "is just (SGML - 80%) + URIs for external references + Unicode." Given that Scientigo CEO Doyal Bryant specifically mentioned Amazon as a potential target for royalty extraction, Bray could be right about the e-commerce angle. To the extent that vendors like Oracle and Microsoft have platforms that may facilitate potentially infringing e-commerce applications, they could be targets too.
To figure out what's going on, it would be helpful to look at the claims of the patents!
US 5,842,213, Method for modeling, storing, and transferring data in neutral form, issued November 24, 1998
1. A method of organizing and storing a set of information in neutral form in a computer based environment comprising the steps of:
a) organizing the set of information into instance data sets;
b) defining a time basis for the collection of instance data sets;
c) organizing each instance data set into an instance cluster comprised of data instance nodes;
d) assigning to each data instance node in an instance cluster a distinguishing structural tag comprising the following three components:
a data reference;
a data type;
a data organization;
e) defining the components of the structural tag for each data value in each instance cluster;
f) assigning properties of the data value to each structural tag;
g) storing the names of all of the structural tag elements together with their respective definitions and properties in a suitable format;
h) combining each data value and its respective structural tag to form a neutral form expression of the data; and
i) storing the resultant neutral form expression of the data value.
(patent cited by 12 US patents)
US 6,393,426 (based on PCT Filed: January 28, 1998. This application is a 371 of PCTUS98/01630 filed on Jan. 28, 1998 and is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/789,860 now U.S. Pat. No. 5,842,213, filed Jan. 28, 1997.)
1. A method of modeling a set of information for storage in neutral form in a computer based environment, comprising the steps of:
a) modeling the set of information into instance data sets, each composed of an instance cluster comprised of data instance nodes, each data instance node in an instance cluster containing an assigned distinguishing structural tag comprising:
(1) a data reference
(2) a data type
(3) a data organization; and
b) each structural tag having defined components for each data value in each instance cluster.
(This is referenced by zero patents.)