I’d thought the whole Balthaser patent had gone quiet. That was until I received an email from Oliver Lorenz over at Magix. It turns out that they are looking to get the patent reexamined and Oliver contacted me with regards to providing additional information to help the reexamination request move forward.
I’ve printed Oliver’s email below for those interested.
(please excuse any impropriety in approaching you by your first name)
I am writing to you on behalf of German software maker – www.magix.com – and with regard to your comment on http://aralbalkan.com/index.php?p=539&c=1#comments.
We have recently become aware of Neil Balthaser’s claims on the basis of US patent 7,000,180. We have also followed – and much appreciated! – the numerous reactions his patent registration prompted in the FLASH community – sentiment we fully share.
Being potentially concerned by Balthaser’s claims ourselves, we are currently preparing a request for reexamination before the USPTO with the intent of disarming the patent to a most complete extent. In this regard we are approaching people who have been involved with RIA development and could potentially be contributing to a prior art list by sharing some of their knowledge. Our current prior art documentation incudes applications such as Worldo, Casper, Moonfruit, Macromedia Generator; it is still in the processus of completion. It is in this respect that we are asking whether you have any advice on the subject, including knowledge of prior art software/patents in order to make the reexam as successfull as possible. We appreciate all types of comment and information you might have with concern to the patentability shortcomings of Balthaser’s alleged invention.
It is, we believe, in the interest of the entire programming community to resist the pressure imposed by a patenting practise such as the one used by Balthaser and tolerated, if not encouraged by the PTO. We are nonetheless confident that in this case a regular reexamination could reverse patent rights which do no service to either competition or innovation.
We would much appreciate your help in this.
Please feel free to contact me also by telephone.
With best regards,
If you think you can help out in anyway and have the time drop a comment (fill in the email field – it doesn’t get displayed – so he can contact you directly) and I will pass your comments over to him. Alternatively you can contact Magix directly.