Anonymous Attack on Facebook’s User News Feed Patent among the Reexamination Requests Filed the Week of May 21, 2012

Scott Daniels | May 29, 2012

This past March Yahoo! sued Facebook for infringement of 10 social networking patents, and soon thereafter Facebook counter-claimed for infringement of 10 of its own social networking patents, most notably U.S. Patent 7,669,123 claiming a method for displaying “a news feed in a social network environment,” specifically, a news feed about people a user knows.  An unnamed party has now requested reexamination of Facebook’s ‘123 patent (see ex parte Request No. (2)).  Yahoo! denies that it filed the request.  The ‘123 patent attracted a fair amount of negative comment in the blogosphere when it issued in 2010, most of it suggesting that the ‘123 claims were impossibly broad and could stifle competition.   

Samsung requested reexamination of a video pixel labeling patent owned by ObjectVideo (see inter partes Request No. (1)).  ObjectVideo has sued Samsung and others in the ITC for infringement of the patent.  A parallel infringement action in the Eastern District of Virginia has been stayed pending completion of the ITC case.

Finally, reexamination was requested by an undisclosed party for U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, that claims a touch screen and names Steve Jobs as an inventor (see ex parte Request No. (8)).  Apple has sued Motorola, Samsung and others for infringing the ‘949 patent.  Apple’s case against Motorola is scheduled to go trial in June before Judge Posner.  Excellent reports on these Apple cases can be found on almost a daily basis at http://www.fosspatents.com/ written by our friend Florian Mueller.

The following inter partes requests were filed:

(1)         95/001,997 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,424,175 entitled VIDEO SEGMENTATION USING STATISTICAL PIXEL MODELING and owned by ObjectVideo.  Filed May 25, 2012, by Samsung Techwin.  The ‘175 patent is currently the subject of an ITC investigation entitled Certain Video Analytics Software, 337-TA-795 and an infringement action ObjectVideo v. Robert Bosch GmbH et al. (Case No. 3:11-cv-217-JAG (E.D. Va.)).

(2)         95/001,998 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. entitled FERMENTIVE PRODUCTION OF FOUR CARBON ALCOHOLS and owned by Butamax.  Filed May 25, 2012, very likely by Geva.  

(3)         95/000,667 (paper filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,816,814 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DECOMPOSING AND VERIFYING CONFIGURABLE HARDWARE and owned by Sonics.  Filed May 11, 2012, by Arteris

The following ex parte requests were filed:

(1)         90/012,300 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 8,172,612 entitled ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR WITH GROUNDING MEMBER and owned by Corning.  Filed May 21, 2012.  

(2)         90/012,301 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,669,123 entitled DYNAMICALLY PROVIDING A NEWS FEED ABOUT A USER OF A SOCIAL NETWORK and owned by Facebook.  Filed May 21, 2012.   The ‘123 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Yahoo! v. Facebook (Case No. 12-cv-1212 (N.D. Cal.)).

(3)         90/012,302 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,445,069 entitled ELECTROLESS NI/PD/AU METALLIZATION STRUCTURE FOR COPPER INTERCONNECT SUBSTRATE AND METHOD THEREFOR and owned by Flipchip International.  Filed May 22, 2012.  

(4)         90/012,303 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,718,067 entitled SEPTIC SYSTEM REMEDIATION METHOD AND APPARATUS and owned by Aero-Stream.  Filed May 22, 2012.  

(5)         90/012,304 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 entitled LIST SCROLLING AND DOCUMENT TRANSLATION, SCALING, AND ROTATION ON A TOUCH-SCREEN DISPLAY and owned by Apple.  Filed May 23, 2012, perhaps by Google.  The ‘381 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Apple v. Samsung et al. (Case No. 11-cv-1846 (N.D. Cal.)).

(6)         90/012,306 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,775,664 entitled COLLABORATIVE/ADAPTIVE SEARCH ENGINE and owned by I/P Engine.  Filed May 24, 2012.  

(7)         90/012,307 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,049,796 entitled PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT WITH REAL TIME SEARCH CAPABILITY and owned by MobileMedia Ideas.  Filed May 24, 2012, likely by HTC.  The ‘796 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled MobileMedia Ideas v. HTC (Case No. 2:10-cv-112 (E.D. Tex.)). 

(8)         90/012,308 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 entitled TOUCH SCREEN DEVICE, METHOD, AND GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE FOR DETERMINING COMMANDS BY APPLYING HEURISTICS and owned by Apple.  Filed May 24, 2012, perhaps by Google.  The ‘949 patent is currently the subject of an ITC investigation entitled Certain Electronic Digital Media Devices, 337-TA-796 and a litigation styled Apple v. Motorola (Case No. 1:11-cv-8540 (N.D. Ill.)).

(9)         90/012,309 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,887,120 entitled AERODYNAMIC TRAILER SKIRTS and owned by Transtex Composite.  Filed May 25, 2012.

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