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[ba-ohs-talk] A patent worth knowing about!

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/1446781 -- an interview
http://slashdot.org/articles/02/08/15/1350230.shtml?tid=155 -- the slashdot 
story    (01)

New York-based ActiveBuddy has won a crucial patent covering instant 
messaging bot-making technology, but hobbyists and amateur developers 
aren't buying the company's claim that it invented the technology.
ActiveBuddy was granted Patent No. 6,430,602 which covers the method and 
system for interactively responding to instant messaging requests and the 
company said it would move swiftly to enforce the patent, a move that is 
sure to create a brouhaha in the bot developer space.
ActiveBuddy founder Tim Kay, who is listed as an inventor in the patent 
claim, told internetnews.com the clinching of the patent validates the 
company's business model of creating interactive agents (bots) that respond 
to IM queries.
"We invented interactive agents. Anybody using his or her own tools (to 
make bots) is obviously using our technology without paying us to license 
the server, for example. We are a startup company and we have to protect 
out future. That's basically why we secured this patent," Kay said.    (02)

The patent abstract:
A method and system for interactively responding to queries from a remotely 
located user includes a computer server system configured to receiving an 
instant message query or request from the user over the Internet. The query 
or request is interpreted and appropriate action is taken, such as 
accessing a local or remote data resource and formulating an answer to the 
user's query. The answer is formatted as appropriate and returned to the 
user as an instant message or via another route specified by the user. A 
method and system of providing authenticated access to a given web page via 
instant messaging is also disclosed.    (03)

So, what is the definition of "instant message"? I can hear the cash 
registers ringing in the halls of those of the lawyerly persuasion.    (04)

I don't know what it's going to take, but I suspect that the entire fabric 
of the OHS vision should begin to take an active role in dealing with 
patents of this kind.  http://www.thebrain.com has a patent that, if 
enforced, could make all of us really miserable. Don't forget the patent on 
hyperlinks!  And, there's a patent on relational storage of information in 
computers.  I suspect there are more...    (05)

XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2.    (06)

http://www.nexist.org/wiki/    (07)