Patent over virtual tours...  

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jarane
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Patent over virtual tours...

by jarane » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:04 pm

Hi everyone,
a while ago I posted a comment about a company who was granted a patent on the methods of creation and presentation of virtual tours.
Back then it was just a rumor.

Here's the link to the actual law suit documents:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/62477867/Tour-Technology-Systems-v-Ice-Portal

Please read carefully since, because of EU/US patent agreements, this may affect every virtual tour creator in those continents.

Ice Portal is one of the largest virtual tour creators in the US. They cater mainly the hospitality industry.

I understand that the International VR Photography Association (IVRPA) has established a fund to legally repel this patent.

Once again, I don't want to sound paranoid, but this hits to close to home.

Thanks in advance,
E.C.

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gkaefer
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by gkaefer » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:08 am


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gddxb
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by gddxb » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:35 am

I've just finished reading through the whole patent.

Points worth noting:

(1) The capturing and stitching section is only applicable where the resulting panorama is created from two hemispherical images taken with a fisheye lens.

(2) The plaintiffs cannot claim invention of cube-mapping, as this is prior art (cube mapping was first proposed in 1986).

(3) The plaintiffs cannot claim invention of virtual tours, as this is prior art also ( http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/royr/projects/dve/ )

I'm not a lawyer, and it took me around about an hour to read through the patent, and less than 15 minutes to invalidate it.

I'd be astonished if this actually got to trial.

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by jarane » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi gddxb,
thanks for chipping in.

I too am surprised that these guys were even granted a patent!!!
My fear is that because of this, we could all be at risk, not only of being suit, but even worse, that the legal repercussions this case bring, will scare all or most of our clients away fearing the same fate.

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by wkaemena » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:13 pm

gddxb wrote:I've just finished reading through the whole patent.

Points worth noting:

(1) The capturing and stitching section is only applicable where the resulting panorama is created from two hemispherical images taken with a fisheye lens.

(2) The plaintiffs cannot claim invention of cube-mapping, as this is prior art (cube mapping was first proposed in 1986).

(3) The plaintiffs cannot claim invention of virtual tours, as this is prior art also ( http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/royr/projects/dve/ )

I'm not a lawyer, and it took me around about an hour to read through the patent, and less than 15 minutes to invalidate it.

I'd be astonished if this actually got to trial.

Yes and therefor IVRPA is going to make after a re examination of the patent which requires a bit of money . The chances are very promising to get this patent off the table.

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by Sam Rohn » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:33 pm

the claimants are in fact saying they invented cube mapping, fisheye stitching etc, and that their patent covers other types of interactive panoramas as well

and as you said, this is totally incorrect and the patent should not have been granted in the 1st place due to prior art etc, but it was granted, and to now to prove that it is invalid and they are wrong requires hiring (and paying) other lawyers to prove it in a court of law, reason and common sense or what seems bloody obvious to you or i have nothing to do with this at all

the strategy is to sue companies for slightly less than the amount of money that a legal defense against the patent would cost, and their insurance company then settles for this amount rather than paying more to win

sound like a rigged game ? it is

see this page for info on the IVRPAs efforts in fighting this bogus patent

http://ivrpa.org/patent

and for those with long memories, yes, the VR community has been through this before, ipix suing helmut dersch who wrote the original freeware panotools library

http://vr.albury.net.au/%7Ekathyw/EyePics/ipix.html

http://www.virtualproperties.com/noipix/noipix.html

also see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

sam
Last edited by Sam Rohn on Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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