SpeedTrack filed suit today [23 Sept 09] in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Francisco against Amazon.com, Best Buy, Dell and 20 other big names in e-commerce for infringing on SpeedTrack’s U.S. Patent 5,544,360 for Guided Information Access (GIA). GIA is a patented method created by Jerzy Lewak, a theoretical physicist and co-founder of SpeedTrack, to guide users to contextually relevant information, ensuring a result -- no "cannot be found" results. This method is critical to e-commerce conversion rates for Amazon.com, Best Buy, Dell and the other defendants named in the attached complaint because GIA provides the named companies’ customers the ability to locate available products on their Web sites by simply selecting words that describe the product they are interested in purchasing, and guarantees that they will always find an available, matching product.
On a pertinent CAFC decision:
In the underlying case, Nisus brought suit against Perma-Chink in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Nisus alleged that Perma-
Chink had infringed Nisus’s U.S. Patent No. 6,426,095 B2 (“the ’095 patent”). Perma-
Chink asserted the affirmative defense that the patent was unenforceable due to
inequitable conduct. Perma-Chink alleged that the attorneys who prosecuted the
patent—Mr. Teschner and Mr. Allan Altera—engaged in inequitable conduct when they
failed to disclose to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the existence of an earlier
lawsuit involving related patents as well as material documents that were at issue in that
lawsuit. Following a bench trial, the district court held that the ’095 patent was
unenforceable because of inequitable conduct and entered judgment in Perma-Chink’s
favor. Nisus and Perma-Chink subsequently settled all aspects of the litigation between
them and have disclaimed any interest in appealing from the judgment.
From MacCreator on other Lewak work:
MacCreator: Playing the devil's advocate here: Since 'everybody' has Microsoft Word, why does the world need another word processor?
Jerzy Lewak: Those who need a different word processor are usually the very discerning and those who need special features that Microsoft Word does not have. Quoting an old review of our product "God is in the details." Those who find that our details work better for them, are our customers.
MacCreator: Please describe the most important attributes of Nisus Writer Express.
Jerzy Lewak: Our philosophy is to make all the features as obvious as possible and as close to the "surface" as possible. We do our best to avoid the dialog inside a dialog experience. We also have some special features that we have pioneered over the years, such as the PowerFind and PowerFind Pro, Multiple Selections, Multiple Editable Clipboards, and Simple and Advanced Macros.
MacCreator: What is this thesaurus I hear about, and how does it work in NWE?
Jerzy Lewak: The database is WordNet developed at Princeton University. It gives you much more than just synonyms. Words are expressions of ideas and we all know that one idea leads to another, so one word leads to another, to another, to another, etc. So that's how the GUI is organized: select a word in your document, hit the "command <" key to look up the first set of synonyms, then click on a synonym and see the next ones in a column to the right, and so on. More than just a list of words and their synonyms and definitions, WordNet was designed by lexicographers to model the complex relationships that exists between words. WordNet and Thesaurus knows the English language. It knows not only what words are related to the word you ask it about but how they are related, based on six different categories. We present all of these relationships arranged in a browser form, much like you browse files in the Finder, so it is easy to navigate to just the word you want.
MacCreator: What is the difference between NWE and the old Nisus Writer, feature-wise, and regarding ease of use?
Jerzy Lewak: Classic Nisus Writer only works under the Classic system. Nisus Writer Express works only under OS X and was built in Cocoa, from scratch, to take advantage of all the features opened up to true Cocoa applications. For example, the Thesaurus is a Services feature and Services are only available to Coca applications. The look and feel of Nisus Writer Express is different because it uses the new OS X tools. Once the foundations are built in Cocoa, feature additions will be much faster. Building it from scratch has such great advantages, but has also some drawbacks associated with the fact that it takes a lot of work to re-build all the features that we have developed in the Classic version. So our first version of Nisus Writer Express is not as rich in features as the Classic version. The new version we are about to go to beta with, ads the most important, the most user demanded features and is a free upgrade. We plan to continue adding features our users most want.