We want to Free the Browser, in your smart phone and tablet, from a patent we think should not exist. My two man software company made a web browser component so developers could add web content to their own applications. That was during the height of the "browser wars", so instead of competing with the Megalodons of tech, we attempted to sell the software to Microsoft. Well, they liked it so much we think they "appropriated" our work. Next, they started giving their version away. That helped them immensely, but it crushed our business.
Then, as if to add insult to injury, Microsoft filed a patent on the web browser component, even though we'd been selling ours for well over a year. Microsoft was granted US Patent 6,101,510 on August 8, 2000.
We want to defeat that patent. It will run until 2017, so there is no time to waste. It's hard to recover the past, but we can work together to stop them from charging for this. Right now, for example, they collect billions of dollars from Android users, with their patent portfolio licensing machine.
The only way to fight their bad browser patent is through the US Patent Office, and that takes money. There are two avenues open.
If we raise $35,000 we'll be able to file a one time objection, called an ex-parte
reexamination. If we raise $250,000 we'll be able to file for an inter partes reexamination, and make our case in person.
If we don't get the entire amount for this we can do nothing.
The second method, an inter partes reexamination, allows us to object, and to stay in the fight and counter Microsoft's arguments. This is our stretch goal, and it allows us to get "in the room" and make our case.
The ImpactWe think this bad patent currently affects every smart phone and tablet user in America today. It was annoying when Microsoft started giving this technology away as part of their operating system, but that only hurt my company. Now, they are making billions licensing their patent portfolio, and it makes us mad to think they are charging Android users for this.
Beyond all that, if people want patent reform, then they should start by fighting bad patents like this. Even if one overlooks the evidence we have, it has been said that this patent should not have been issued, because it is simply the combination of two technologies that existed at the time: a browser and the software component.
Risks & Challenges1) Unfortunately, if we raise the money we still might fail. Let's face it, they have lots of money and skilled lawyers. We believe that we have the facts and the law on our side, but that isn't always enough.
2) Their patent was filed in 1997, so it will run out in 2017. They may delay and delay until there is no more point to it. We did not act until now because my little company was basically extinguished by this whole experience. However, now with the abilty to do crowdfunding, it is finally possible to try.
Happily, I have been able to prevail in other cases of great injustice, so I do believe the system can be made to work. We have the documentation we need, and an excellent attorney. The more money we can collect, the better our odds will be.
Recently, the Chinese government published a list of Microsoft patents that they claim cover parts of the Android universe. The Chinese list is not definitive, but a "conclusion" of their Government. U.S. Patent number 6,101,510 has no international coverage, so it is not surprising that it was not on that list. We still believe it can be used against Android users in America, as we show in the video.
If you can't help directly, please spread the word and let's Free the Browser.
Let's make this happen.