Patents are often far too broad. For years, until the patent expired, Compuserv had the internet tied up with claims for the compression algorithm used in GIF images. In this case the patent applies to the a method of encrypting digital content. Many lawyers will get rich and the consumer will end up paying the bills.
I think it's not Amazon that they're suing, but the creators of the .mobi format (Mobipocket SA which is yes, not a part of Amazon) that is being sued. I don't see why Microsoft isn't sued for .lit or Palm for .pdb because they can all be encrypted for digital distribution as well eh?
The patent is from 1999 but Adobe had encrypted Adobe PDF files before that. It would seem to be a bad patent given the reporting, but just because it is a bad patent doesn't mean that a judge somewhere won't uphold it.
I tried to patent walking, but someone beat me to it
I think it gets a little ridiculous what is patentable these days. I remember one company trying to press a patent claim on pretty much the whole internet, and it wasn't even Al Gore!!
The application resulting in this patent was filed in September 2001. Since it is proprietary information, it is not public record until either it publishes in the U.S. Patent Office or the Patent issues, in this case, in November 2007. However, in patent cases, an originally filed patent application (called a "Parent") can be 'divided' into several patent applications that could each issue individually at a much later date. That is the case here. This patent is a 'child', or related patent, of a patent application originally filed in 1993.
As such, this Patent was not 'created' the day after the K1 released.
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