27 May 2008

God Bless Patent Trolls....

....for continuing to demonstrate just how mind-bendingly stupid software patents are:

SINGAPORE--A local company has laid claims to a technology that Web sites across the globe deploy to link images to other Web pages, and sent out notification letters to several companies demanding to be paid licensing fees.

Dubbing itself "pioneers of visual search technology", Vuestar Technologies said it owns the patent to the technology that enables "Internet searching via visual images".

In sum, the company implied that any Web site that uses pictures and graphics to link to another site or Web page will need a license from Vuestar.

"Those who use visual images which hyperlink to other Web pages or Web sites...whether on the first page or subsequent pages of a Web site require a Vuestar 'license of use'," the company said on its site.

Riiiiight. (Via Slashdot.)


Anonymous said...

Hey Glyn,

I have a way of figuring out how many times we've infringed on VueStar's patent:
tput sc && wget -qr -O blah.txt http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com & tail -f blah.txt | sed -r ":a /([^<][^\/][^a][^>]|^.{,4})$/N; s/\n//g; ta" | egrep -o "<a.*?</a>" | awk '/<img.*?(\/>|<\/img>)/{ct++}{printf("%d", ct)}{system("tput rc")}' && rm blah.txt

It's a hack, but it works. It has counted so many infringements! I don't know how we will ever repay them!

Glyn Moody said...

The trouble is, that code doubtless infringes on half-a-dozen software patents....