Umbrella Patent Issued for Rich Media


A patent that basically covers any rich media created remotely (Flash, AJAX, XAML, etc.,) has been granted to a California web designer.

Information Week seems to think this covers most online rich media:

A patent has been granted to a relatively unknown California Web-design firm for an invention its creator says covers the design and creation of most rich-media applications used over the Internet. The patent holder, Balthaser Online Inc., says it could license nearly any rich-media Internet application across a broad range of devices and networks.

But some digging into the patent text reveals it to be somewhat less ecompassing:

Rich-media applications are designed and created via the Internet. A host computer system, containing processes for creating rich-media applications, is accessed from a remote user computer system via an Internet connection. User account information and rich-media component specifications are uploaded via the established Internet connection for a specific user account. Rich-media applications are created, deleted, or modified in a user account via the established Internet connection.

At the very least, this would seem prevent the possibility of many online build it yourself rich media applications.


Fer cryin' out loud

This crap gets a patent? There's not an original idea in there. How about a patent for done remotely. What the heck is original about doing it remotely?

I understand and appreciate wanting to protect your work. I've got niche competitors that routinely duplicate my work - and some of it is very original from the point that nobody's done it before, or even thought about doing it the way I do it. And that can get frustrating. Still, this patent stupidity is stifling creativity and competition.

Online Greeting Cards

I read through someof it and it seems that online greeting cards would be covered under this. I can't see this patent lasting long before getting a review and revoked.

How is that possible

I can't imagine this thing holding water, that's like Paris Hilton being able to enforce her trademark on 'that's hot'.

his mom is going to kill him ...

Or, at least, by his own words, the impetus for the "invention"


My mom saw me struggling, and one day said, 'Why don't you figure out a way to bottle up that Balthaser magic and let people purchase the bottle and do it themselves?' It was one of those whacks on the side of the head. ... I started to work on an early prototype."


A host computer, containing processes for creating rich-media applications, is accessed from a remote user computer system via an Internet connection.

Prior art?

This is nothing more than logging in via terminal services to use photoshop. Before this, some graphic artist probably used PCANYWHERE to get at their own office computer to do something on the weekend. Oh, what about the render farms used by Industrial Light and Power or Alias Software? Betcha NASA or Jet Propulsion Labs had a few apps like this too.

Or, going back to Netware, using an application from a file share, or having an NLM do it.

So, who, if anyone, already holds a patent on remote control of applications? Probably no one, otherwise terminal services, xwindows, and ssh would not exist.

Enough already! Close down the entire USPTO. They obviously do not have the required knowledge and skills to figure out what is truly novel and unencumbered by prior art.

search bait: patent, No. 7,000,180 , Neil Balthaser

reminds me

Reminds me of this guy my mom put me in touch with a few years ago.

He wanted me to help him with his big idea. See he invented this fool proof encryption technique where you generate huge lists of random text and you distribute that text out to a group of people you want to share a secret with. Then you just reference the text by the offset from the character your all on in the random text.

He was very dissappointed to when I told him one time pads had been invented centuries ago.

open source patents

Why not open the patent process open source software style? We already have public disclosures.. so why not open up the review process so every busybody can contribute his prior art findings and make a case that every other busy body can refute, until all that is left is a reasonable patent application?

Not easy, not simple, but scalable?

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