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Messages with web-links to mobile phones - it's patented

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Messages with web-links to mobile phones - it's patented
Patent fatigue aside, a feature that many users have used to one degree or another for years is patented and many businesses have been snared by the patent holder. The New York Times is leading the legal defense of a group of companies that use the feature regularly, and have been for years. They thought it was free.

Turns out, it is not. The technology we are all accustomed to, receiving text messages from businesses which contain web-links to news or information has been protected for quite some time. Richard J. Helferich outlined how such a system would work, and filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1997. He was granted several patents and as such, he has the right to protect them.

You may be wondering why we have not heard much about any litigation on this technology considering that since 2008, Helferich’s company, Helferich Patent Licensing (HPL), has only filed 23 suits against well known companies, such as Best Buy and the NBA. The other reason we do not hear much about these proceedings is because HPL claims over 100 companies have settled with them. HPL offers companies the opportunity to settle for a one-time fee of $750,000. That’s real money, but still a drop in the bucket compared to what many companies might end up paying in legal and court fees.

HPL counts Apple, Inc., Walt Disney and McDonald’s among the companies that have settled with them.

The New York Times says it is trying to keep these patents from becoming a burden on commonplace activities. They may argue that HPL does not do anything other than acquire patent fees as its way of doing business. Problem is, “patent trolling,” as it is often called, is perfectly legal.

The Times does have a little muscle on its team, CBS, Comcast and J.C. Penny to name a few, so this case’s profile may increase as proceedings continue.

source: The Washington Post

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23 Comments
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posted on 31 Aug 2012, 01:35 14

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Maxwell?

That's the first time I've seen your name on here.

Welcome to Phonearena! I hope you're properly prepared for the fanboy wars that erupt on any comment page for a news story even REMOTELY related to the smartphone wars.

I suggest a couple of bottles of whiskey.

Per article.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 02:15 11

6. Ray.S (Posts: 250; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Always a good suggestion!

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 08:53 1

12. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


welcome abraod Max

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 00:13

17. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3227; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Sounds like a pretty generic patent that more than likely should fall under fair and reasonable. I think the right thing is to toss this case out.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 00:25

18. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Why are you replying to me? None of what you said was in any way related to what I said.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 10:46

20. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3227; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


What you said wasn't really related to the article.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 14:27

21. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


No, but that is because there was little that had to be said about the article itself. I just wanted to greet the new author.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 16:41

22. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3227; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You have no argument. My comment at least addresses the article.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 16:57

23. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Then it should have been in response to the article, not to me.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 01:49 1

2. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


and another ridiculous patent and another rotten company abusing the patent system like immoral non-innovative Apple.... :(

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 01:52

3. hung2900 (Posts: 770; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


They are patent trolls. Quite popular.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 01:55 3

4. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You could have offered your opinion of the company's actions without bringing Apple into it.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 04:00 4

7. prophet (Posts: 10; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


It's Apple's fault, really. Thanks to their childish business practices, it's impossible not to think of Apple when talking about abusing the patent system. Even if the article was talking about a patent completely unrelated to smartphones or technology in general, I'd still think of Apple.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 02:03 4

5. Savage (unregistered)


So I am not allowed to share web-page links via SMS now?

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 05:20 3

8. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


actually u are doing it illegally since 1997 :P

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 05:29

9. ghostnexus (Posts: 96; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


all of these patents are stupid

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 05:52 1

10. Aeires (unregistered)


This just in, Apple purchases Helferich Patent Licensing. Lawyers put on notice.

/joke

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 08:32

11. JunkCreek (Posts: 399; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


just copy-paste the link to sms, and then copy-paste again with auto detect link feature like auto detect numbers then copy-paste to browser or have phone automaticaly paste-and-go to default browser or something. that's it. no need to embed link to sms just write it down and give the phone function to auto detect link and use copy-paste process to browser.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 13:01

13. chebner (Posts: 120; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


How was this determined to be non-obvious, even in 1997?

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 14:57 1

14. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


$750,000 a pop isn't too bad.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 22:04 1

15. webOSlove (Posts: 103; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


So ive been breaking the law since 1997 ?

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 23:42

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6697; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


No, it only refers to companies using the messages for mass marketing with web links.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 10:26 1

19. ncv144 (Posts: 126; Member since: 04 May 2012)


Maxwell, just one tip of advice that sniggly forgot to give you, NEVER, EVER seem biased towards one company or the other, it will earn you a bad reputation among fans

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