iRise sues Axure for "patent infringement"

6 Jun 2008 - 8:00am
6 years ago
72 replies
3952 reads
Fred Beecher
2006

All,

I really hope anyone considering iRise reads this before making their final
decision. We're a fairly small community and in general we all play well
together. Given this, it is *amazing* that we have a choice of tools to use.
So this kind of blatant and reprehensible grab for market share (see below)
should not go unnoticed.
Disclosure: While I do not work for Axure, I do have a formal agreement with
them to do training for their clients when they request it. Also, I am
admittedly an Axure fanboy. I have had no problems recommending iRise in the
past when the situation warrants, but after this that will change.

I learned last night that iRise is suing Axure for patent infringement.
Essentially, they're trying to sue Axure out of business.

http://www.centredaily.com/business/technology/story/638693.html

Mind you, the "patent" that's being infringed was filed by iRise on March
25, 2008, and it is essentially a patent on the idea of a rapid prototyping
& documentation tool:

"The patent, titled 'Systems and Methods for a Programming Environment for
a Simulation of a Computer Application," relates to interactive simulation
systems and, more particularly, to the editing and association of text-based
requirements in the context of an interactive simulation authoring
environment."

So essentially, every time we create an annotated wireframe (whether in
Axure or no) we are violating this patent. This is completely ridiculous.
Axure has been around since 2003 and iRise is suing for a "patent" they got
in 2008? Absurd.

What follows is complete speculation: I imagine that what's happening is
that iRise is losing LOTS of customers to Axure. Axure costs $589 per
license compared to iRise's $6,000 - $10,000 (yes, per license). That's *an
order of magnitude* more expensive. While for some customers the
capabilities of iRise are likely worth it, I'm guessing most are opting for
the cheaper option that does 95% of what iRise does. So, faced with a dire
financial situation, they're attempting to sue Axure out of business. Read
the article. The lawsuit says they want Axure to stop selling rapid
prototyping products. Axure doesn't sell anything else.

I am... I am very disappointed about all this. And while there's just no way
this lawsuit can go through, it still eats me up inside that a company that
plays in our relatively tiny little industry would pull crap like this.

Okay, time to cool off...

- Fred

Comments

6 Jun 2008 - 8:20am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jun 6, 2008, at 9:00 AM, Fred Beecher wrote:

> http://www.centredaily.com/business/technology/story/638693.html

Not to mention that the About iRise section is a bit misleading:

"Companies of all sizes like UPS, Wachovia, M.D. Anderson Cancer
Center, Manpower, CompuCredit, Capgemini, and many others use iRise to
"test drive" their applications before building"

Companies of ALL sizes? Really. Well, my company is 5, we're a size,
and we can't afford iRise.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

6 Jun 2008 - 9:15am
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

Here is the patent in question:

http://tinyurl.com/3mvrls

and an earlier patent that they also own:

http://www.google.com/patents?id=hrmAAAAAEBAJ&dq=7,174,286

I think those patents were filed around 2004, and I really wonder if
such tools never existed in some form before that time. Maybe some of
the people in the list who've been in the industry for long enough can
provide some insight.

If "prior art" can be found (proving that such things existed before
the patent was applied for) then the patent can be declared invalid.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken up quite a few such
cases - see http://www.eff.org/issues/patents

Maybe this is an issue where the IxDA community can liaise with EFF
and raise another case like that.

Regards,
Alex

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 2:00 PM, Fred Beecher <fbeecher at gmail.com> wrote:
> All,
>
> I really hope anyone considering iRise reads this before making their final
> decision. We're a fairly small community and in general we all play well
> together. Given this, it is *amazing* that we have a choice of tools to use.
> So this kind of blatant and reprehensible grab for market share (see below)
> should not go unnoticed.
> Disclosure: While I do not work for Axure, I do have a formal agreement with
> them to do training for their clients when they request it. Also, I am
> admittedly an Axure fanboy. I have had no problems recommending iRise in the
> past when the situation warrants, but after this that will change.
>
> I learned last night that iRise is suing Axure for patent infringement.
> Essentially, they're trying to sue Axure out of business.
>
> http://www.centredaily.com/business/technology/story/638693.html
>
> Mind you, the "patent" that's being infringed was filed by iRise on March
> 25, 2008, and it is essentially a patent on the idea of a rapid prototyping
> & documentation tool:
>
> "The patent, titled 'Systems and Methods for a Programming Environment for
> a Simulation of a Computer Application," relates to interactive simulation
> systems and, more particularly, to the editing and association of text-based
> requirements in the context of an interactive simulation authoring
> environment."
>
> So essentially, every time we create an annotated wireframe (whether in
> Axure or no) we are violating this patent. This is completely ridiculous.
> Axure has been around since 2003 and iRise is suing for a "patent" they got
> in 2008? Absurd.
>
> What follows is complete speculation: I imagine that what's happening is
> that iRise is losing LOTS of customers to Axure. Axure costs $589 per
> license compared to iRise's $6,000 - $10,000 (yes, per license). That's *an
> order of magnitude* more expensive. While for some customers the
> capabilities of iRise are likely worth it, I'm guessing most are opting for
> the cheaper option that does 95% of what iRise does. So, faced with a dire
> financial situation, they're attempting to sue Axure out of business. Read
> the article. The lawsuit says they want Axure to stop selling rapid
> prototyping products. Axure doesn't sell anything else.
>
> I am... I am very disappointed about all this. And while there's just no way
> this lawsuit can go through, it still eats me up inside that a company that
> plays in our relatively tiny little industry would pull crap like this.
>
> Okay, time to cool off...
>
> - Fred
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jun 2008 - 9:33am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 6/6/08, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> and an earlier patent that they also own:
>
> http://www.google.com/patents?id=hrmAAAAAEBAJ&dq=7,174,286
>
> I think those patents were filed around 2004, and I really wonder if
> such tools never existed in some form before that time. Maybe some of
> the people in the list who've been in the industry for long enough can
> provide some insight.

It looks like the first one is an extension of the second, which was *filed*
around 2004 and granted in 2007.

If "prior art" can be found (proving that such things existed before
> the patent was applied for) then the patent can be declared invalid.
> The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken up quite a few such
> cases - see http://www.eff.org/issues/patents

Well Axure itself existed before either patent was applied for. It was first
released in 2003.

Does "prior art" also cover offline practices? We've been doing annotated
wireframes forever, and what both Axure and iRise have done is to take that
offline practice and extend it into prototyping. They've just taken very
different approaches to doing so.

Maybe this is an issue where the IxDA community can liaise with EFF
> and raise another case like that.

That would be fabulous. Does anyone here have contacts in the EFF?

- Fred

6 Jun 2008 - 9:43am
SemanticWill
2007

We as a community can simply say we shall not stand for this.

We are the ones, as customers, with power..... we can let them know.

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:33 AM, Fred Beecher <fbeecher at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 6/6/08, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > and an earlier patent that they also own:
> >
> > http://www.google.com/patents?id=hrmAAAAAEBAJ&dq=7,174,286
> >
> > I think those patents were filed around 2004, and I really wonder if
> > such tools never existed in some form before that time. Maybe some of
> > the people in the list who've been in the industry for long enough can
> > provide some insight.
>
>
> It looks like the first one is an extension of the second, which was
> *filed*
> around 2004 and granted in 2007.
>
> If "prior art" can be found (proving that such things existed before
> > the patent was applied for) then the patent can be declared invalid.
> > The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken up quite a few such
> > cases - see http://www.eff.org/issues/patents
>
>
> Well Axure itself existed before either patent was applied for. It was
> first
> released in 2003.
>
> Does "prior art" also cover offline practices? We've been doing annotated
> wireframes forever, and what both Axure and iRise have done is to take that
> offline practice and extend it into prototyping. They've just taken very
> different approaches to doing so.
>
> Maybe this is an issue where the IxDA community can liaise with EFF
> > and raise another case like that.
>
>
> That would be fabulous. Does anyone here have contacts in the EFF?
>
> - Fred
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 Jun 2008 - 10:07am
SemanticWill
2007

I have already sent emails to iRise (being a customer), as well as left two
voice mails. I have/will use both based on my needs - but this thing iRise
is doing is simply not right.

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Nancy Roberts <nancyc.roberts at gmail.com>
wrote:

> How do we do that? I have been using Axure since it was first published (as
> Ubiquity), and our company can't afford the more pricey alternative, either.
>
>
> On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com>
> wrote:
>
>> We as a community can simply say we shall not stand for this.
>>
>> We are the ones, as customers, with power..... we can let them know.
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:33 AM, Fred Beecher <fbeecher at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > On 6/6/08, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > and an earlier patent that they also own:
>> > >
>> > > http://www.google.com/patents?id=hrmAAAAAEBAJ&dq=7,174,286
>> > >
>> > > I think those patents were filed around 2004, and I really wonder if
>> > > such tools never existed in some form before that time. Maybe some of
>> > > the people in the list who've been in the industry for long enough can
>> > > provide some insight.
>> >
>> >
>> > It looks like the first one is an extension of the second, which was
>> > *filed*
>> > around 2004 and granted in 2007.
>> >
>> > If "prior art" can be found (proving that such things existed before
>> > > the patent was applied for) then the patent can be declared invalid.
>> > > The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken up quite a few such
>> > > cases - see http://www.eff.org/issues/patents
>> >
>> >
>> > Well Axure itself existed before either patent was applied for. It was
>> > first
>> > released in 2003.
>> >
>> > Does "prior art" also cover offline practices? We've been doing
>> annotated
>> > wireframes forever, and what both Axure and iRise have done is to take
>> that
>> > offline practice and extend it into prototyping. They've just taken very
>> > different approaches to doing so.
>> >
>> > Maybe this is an issue where the IxDA community can liaise with EFF
>> > > and raise another case like that.
>> >
>> >
>> > That would be fabulous. Does anyone here have contacts in the EFF?
>> >
>> > - Fred
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> ~ will
>>
>> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>> and what you innovate are design problems"
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
>> tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
>> twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticwill
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 Jun 2008 - 10:11am
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

I've served as an expert witness in several patent infringement cases and
have had the (sometime uncomfortable) experience of seeing the process
close-up.

It can be a very expensive and nasty process. The last case that I was
involved with went on for years and cost the companies millions of dollars
in legal fees.

The legal process as I experienced it is not intuitive to many non-lawyers.
Much of it revolves around debating the precise meaning of words and the
arguments can sometimes feel like debates about how many angels can dance on
the head of a pin. While I am not allowed to talk about cases in which I was
involved, here are two examples of the sort of thing that can take years and
many dollars to resolve:

1. The patent says that the user can click on a link and perform some
action. But in fact, it's a double click. The lawyers will argue that that a
double click requires two steps so is not the same as a single click.

2. The patent says that the user can click on a link and transmit a file.
But in practice, the modem needs to be initialized and presents a dialog box
which requires another click. The lawyers argue that the patent is not
applicable because the file is not actually transmitted when the user clicks
on the link.

Generally patent infringement cases hinge on whether the alleged infringing
software is the "same" as the software described in the patent. Since
natural language is, by nature, ambiguous there is a lot of room to argue
the points.

Whatever the reality, it costs a lot of money to defend a patent
infringement suit.

Sometimes the goal is to wipe out the competition, sometimes it's to get the
competition to pay license fees. In any case it is an expensive and painful
process.

Charlie

============================
Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ph.D.
CEO, Cognetics Corporation
============================

6 Jun 2008 - 10:16am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

What affect could this patent have on Adobe's Thermo? Is anybody from
the team currently reading the list? Narciso?

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Things should be as simple as possible,
but no simpler.

- Albert Einstein

6 Jun 2008 - 11:14am
DrWex
2006

I skimmed the '837 patent. It's VERY broad. It also cites an
unusually large amount of patent prior art (though its non-patent
prior art is CRAP, not at all surprising).

herewith the rampant speculation from a non-lawyer
If the examiner let it through with that amount of prior art cited
it's going to be more difficult to dislodge. You'd need to provide
non-patent prior art and then have to deal with the potentially
consequent invalidation of multiple patents. This is roughly the
legal equivalent of sticking your hand into the blades of a running
wood-chipper.

The news article cited is heavily slanted and reads like a reprocessed
press release from iRise. I'd be interested to see what Axure has to
say in response.

I'm neutral on the question of whether we as an organization should do
anything - I'd be interested to see the IxDA board discuss it.
Companies sue each other all the time over patents that are way
crappier than this one. Individuals, of course, should feel free to
let iRise know their feelings, but don't expect that to have any
effect. I doubt iRise is trying to 'shut down' Axure - they're just
trying to get licensing fees and a de facto statement of the validity
of their patent. Then they can go after some of the bigger and
scarier players in the space, including Adobe and Microsoft.

6 Jun 2008 - 11:18am
Katie Albers
2005

Let's see...where have I seen this happen before...hmmmm. Oh, that's
right! Amazon patented the single click buy.

Let me be really clear about this, for those of you who don't
remember, Amazon patented something that was already in use by many,
but that was widely considered within our tiny, little industry (the
Web -- at the time) to be so obvious that no one had ever patented it.

The patent went through without a hitch because the USPTO didn't have
anyone who was sufficiently expert (or aware, for that matter) in the
field to know that (a) There was enough prior art to choke a horse;
(b) it was entirely obvious; and (c) it was widely considered to be
similar not merely to patenting the alphabet, but to patenting the
letter "e".

It's too late to prevent iRise from being issued this patent, but
they have others pending, and it would undoubtedly behoove us to find
out more about them and to flood the Patent Inspector's office with
prior art.

Katie

>All,
>
>I really hope anyone considering iRise reads this before making their final
>decision. We're a fairly small community and in general we all play well
>together. Given this, it is *amazing* that we have a choice of tools to use.
>So this kind of blatant and reprehensible grab for market share (see below)
>should not go unnoticed.
>Disclosure: While I do not work for Axure, I do have a formal agreement with
>them to do training for their clients when they request it. Also, I am
>admittedly an Axure fanboy. I have had no problems recommending iRise in the
>past when the situation warrants, but after this that will change.
>
>I learned last night that iRise is suing Axure for patent infringement.
>Essentially, they're trying to sue Axure out of business.
>
>http://www.centredaily.com/business/technology/story/638693.html
>
>Mind you, the "patent" that's being infringed was filed by iRise on March
>25, 2008, and it is essentially a patent on the idea of a rapid prototyping
>& documentation tool:
>
> "The patent, titled 'Systems and Methods for a Programming Environment for
>a Simulation of a Computer Application," relates to interactive simulation
>systems and, more particularly, to the editing and association of text-based
>requirements in the context of an interactive simulation authoring
>environment."
>
>So essentially, every time we create an annotated wireframe (whether in
>Axure or no) we are violating this patent. This is completely ridiculous.
>Axure has been around since 2003 and iRise is suing for a "patent" they got
>in 2008? Absurd.
>
>What follows is complete speculation: I imagine that what's happening is
>that iRise is losing LOTS of customers to Axure. Axure costs $589 per
>license compared to iRise's $6,000 - $10,000 (yes, per license). That's *an
>order of magnitude* more expensive. While for some customers the
>capabilities of iRise are likely worth it, I'm guessing most are opting for
>the cheaper option that does 95% of what iRise does. So, faced with a dire
>financial situation, they're attempting to sue Axure out of business. Read
>the article. The lawsuit says they want Axure to stop selling rapid
>prototyping products. Axure doesn't sell anything else.
>
>I am... I am very disappointed about all this. And while there's just no way
>this lawsuit can go through, it still eats me up inside that a company that
>plays in our relatively tiny little industry would pull crap like this.
>
>Okay, time to cool off...
>
>- Fred
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

6 Jun 2008 - 11:20am
Vishal Subraman...
2005

Thats a great question.

>From the iRise website (http://www.irise.com/patent/):
"The invention covered by this patent is the use of a graphical,
drag-and-drop interface to allow non-technical users to define functionally
rich simulations – without resorting to software code to generate them. The
state-of-the-art prior to iRise's invention was to repurpose tools and
languages originally created for production software development to create
'prototypes'. With this invention, the user is shielded from learning
keywords, complex syntax and other challenging requirements common in
programming and scripting languages. The patent also protects certain
specific implementations of our "alternate view" and "reusable master"
features."

-Vishal

What affect could this patent have on Adobe's Thermo? Is anybody from the
> team currently reading the list? Narciso?
>
>

6 Jun 2008 - 11:26am
prince arora
2008

Great discussion. I started using Axure around 2-3 yrs ago. Before
finalizing on Axure I spoke to an iRise sales rep. but he wasn't much
interested to talk to me as I was just an individual in a small company. Now
that Axure has captured a good market size iRise is trying these tactics. We
as a community, if we believe 100% in Axure, can start a website like
boycottiRise.com and pass it around.

Prince Arora
www.duxjobs.com

6 Jun 2008 - 12:36pm
Tim Ostler
2007

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM, Vishal Iyer <vishaliyer1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thats a great question.
>
> >From the iRise website (http://www.irise.com/patent/):
> "The invention covered by this patent is the use of a graphical,
> drag-and-drop interface to allow non-technical users to define functionally
> rich simulations – without resorting to software code to generate them. "
>

Reminds me of something ...

Oh yes:

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball_Construction_Set>

1983: Is that prior enough?

Not sure how drag&droppable it was but I remember being bowled over when
this came out because of the idea you could just drop things around into
place and they would operate as real functional objects as part of an
interactive "functionally rich simulation"...

--
Tim Ostler

W www.cogarch.com
W www.satnaverrors.com

6 Jun 2008 - 12:51pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Speaking for the Board...

We haven't specifically discussed the issue. But really, it's not
so important what the Board thinks. Our only purpose is to facilitate
the community. If folks feel that this is important, let's use the
discussion board to discuss and recommend an action plan.

This is your community--make it happen!

Josh Seiden,
President, IxDA Board of Directors

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 1:09pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

The patent process is really complex for sure (though few will argue that it
doesn't need reform), but generally speaking- if someone invents a medicine
to cure a disease, shouldn't patents protect others from using the same
formula, but not prevent folks from creating other medicines to cure the
same disease?
-Vishal

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 1:51 PM, Josh Seiden <joshseiden at gmail.com> wrote:

> Speaking for the Board...
>
> We haven't specifically discussed the issue. But really, it's not
> so important what the Board thinks. Our only purpose is to facilitate
> the community. If folks feel that this is important, let's use the
> discussion board to discuss and recommend an action plan.
>
> This is your community--make it happen!
>
> Josh Seiden,
> President, IxDA Board of Directors
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jun 2008 - 1:23pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 6, 2008, at 7:15 AM, Alexander Baxevanis wrote:

> Here is the patent in question: [removed]
>
> and an earlier patent that they also own: [removed]

This has been discussed in the past before...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take patent discussions to a sequestered list or
blog posting or something other than being inline on the email list or
digest. And please do not link patents in messages. Some of us have to
avoid patents like the plague due to clients or corporate rules and
cannot have them in email, caches, etc. Cannot read patent sites,
cannot discuss patent concepts so as to not be used against us if
legal action is taken, etc.

I'm entirely sympathetic to the anger over these issues, but please be
aware that discussing them openly and including snippets, transcripts
and links about patents subjects some on the list to things we'd
rather not have to endure.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

6 Jun 2008 - 1:49pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 6, 2008, at 11:30 AM, Dave Meeker wrote:

> Really? You'd think as prototyping is a major part of experience
> design, that this would be somewhat interesting to the community.

I'm sure it is.

> You write your post as if you represent everyone.

I said "some people." I thought I was clear on that point.

> We are in the business of designing
> experiences, and when legal issues appear that might impact the
> primary tools that we use to do our job, I'd say that it is quite
> relevant and worth discussing.

I agree. All I'm asking is that they are discussed on a web site where
the commentary, transcripts, links and other pieces of that discussion
are not automatically added my my email cache and server.

> You aren't allowed to read patents in your emails? That is ludicris,
> if you ask me.

I don't make the rules or the laws. I'm just relaying my experience
here.

> It is your responsibility as user experience designer
> to understand (The best you can) what patents exist so that you don't
> infringe upon them.

I wish you luck with that line of reasoning when a lawyer grills you
on the stand.

> To each his own. But knowing what is and is not patented will save you
> and your clients a lot of wasted time and money should you design them
> into a corner.

This is not "to each his own." There is the law and there is the legal
process and when it happens, you don't get to deal with it the way you
may want to. I was pulled into the whole Adobe v. Macromedia interface
lawsuit back when it happened. I didn't have to testify or do much in
it thankfully since an agreement was reached, but getting grilled by
lawyers and having stuff you've done put under a microscope is not
pleasant. I also watched all my co-workers deal with other patent
lawsuits and the disruption it is and what they are then allowed to do
or say for the length of the lawsuit can be really tedious.

I'm just trying to help some of you avoid that experience.

> 2 more cents. Don't you feel rich?

No. But I do feel like you entirely misunderstood my post, and then
turned my into the bad guy, when all I'm trying to do is be the
messenger.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

6 Jun 2008 - 2:06pm
Gary Manfredi
2008

I for one would value postings and discussion on how we as a community can respond to iRise's lawsuit. It is abusive and anti-competitive and can seriously hurt Axure which one of UX/ID industry's major providers of tools.

Consider how one individual was able to overturn Amazon's 1-click patent:
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,1000000097,39290150,00.htm

Also, the Amazon Boycott site http://www.clapper.org/boycott-amazon/

Of course, trying to get the whole universe of Amazon buyers to boycott Amazon would be near impossible, but it is QUITE another story with our small community, and quite possible to very effectively respond to iRise where it counts IF we feel this is unfair and damaging to our industry. Therefore, I would support active discussion on this with the caveat to, at maximum, remove any links or clips of actual patents for Andrei's sake.

My 2 cents,
Gary

6 Jun 2008 - 2:12pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Andrei is perfectly correct here and the discussion of patents the
links to patents should not be discussed on IxDA. That should be a
strict policy. Discussion of a particular patent like this could open
members and companies on this discussion group open to treble damages
for willful infringement. Many companies have gotten in trouble for
discussing patents and prior through internal emails. My wife is a
patent attorney and I remember how I was stunned when she described
this practice to me when I was involved in a patent and the corporate
lawyer asked me not do any research. The instruction for designers not
to look at patents is standard practice. If you are an inventor, your
lawyer will ask you what prior art you are aware of and will then
research for additional prior art, but will ask you not to do any
further research. If you do come on something, even inadvertently,
you will be asked to discuss that in person with the lawyer.

So, to protect all of us, please do as Andrei requested and not
discuss patents on this discussion group.

Chauncey

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 2:23 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk
<andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 7:15 AM, Alexander Baxevanis wrote:
>
>> Here is the patent in question: [removed]
>>
>> and an earlier patent that they also own: [removed]
>
>
> This has been discussed in the past before...
>
> PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take patent discussions to a sequestered list or blog
> posting or something other than being inline on the email list or digest.
> And please do not link patents in messages. Some of us have to avoid patents
> like the plague due to clients or corporate rules and cannot have them in
> email, caches, etc. Cannot read patent sites, cannot discuss patent concepts
> so as to not be used against us if legal action is taken, etc.
>
> I'm entirely sympathetic to the anger over these issues, but please be aware
> that discussing them openly and including snippets, transcripts and links
> about patents subjects some on the list to things we'd rather not have to
> endure.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jun 2008 - 2:34pm
DrWex
2006

> So, to protect all of us, please do as Andrei requested and not
> discuss patents on this discussion group.

I'm aware of the issues, but I'm uncomfortable with banning an entire
class of discussion from the entirety of the mailing list. Is there a
way to tag potentially risky messages so that people who cannot deal
with these things can filter the messages without having to open them?

I'm thinking of something like a secondary list (e.g.
discuss-IP at ixda.org) or a subject tag (similar to [EVENT]).

We're supposed to be clever designers here - can't we design a
solution that meets the diverse needs of this group?

--Alan

6 Jun 2008 - 2:42pm
.pauric
2006

Apologies, I seemed to have posted in the 'yahoo! markteting
replies' while looking at the patent thread

My point is this; last time this came up I beleive Chauncey
highlighted the problems talking about patents. And here we are
again.

I feel its a relatively obscure issue that arises infrequently.
While the ideal might be that everyone understands they shouldnt
mention the p-word. I dont think thats going to happen

So, those in the know, who are concerned etc.. they are the ones that
need to take steps to protect themselves.

Write greasemonky scripts, setup email filters and do whatever you
feel you need to do to block patent details arriving on your screen.
Shout outs in the middles of threads is not going to stop the issue.

In fact, all you seem to be achieving Andrei is highlighting the fact
you read this thread on Patents.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 2:47pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 6, 2008, at 12:34 PM, Alan Wexelblat wrote:

> I'm aware of the issues, but I'm uncomfortable with banning an entire
> class of discussion from the entirety of the mailing list. Is there a
> way to tag potentially risky messages so that people who cannot deal
> with these things can filter the messages without having to open them?

Opening them is not the problem. It's having their presence on your
internal email servers to boot. When you get lawyers asking for
information, they take everything to see what you have, because
proving what you've read or not via email is difficult. So just it's
presence is often what they are looking for.

An engineer friend of mine had his computers had all the email he ever
sent of the past six to seven years subpoenaed for one patent lawsuit.
And his computer at home, and pretty much every electronic piece of
communication he ever did. They literally took all of his cached email
and all the email stored on corporate servers that was sent to him and
went through all of it, even the ones that had nothing to do with the
case because they had check all of it to see what he knew and when he
knew it. and then with that they get subpoenas to grab other people
email related to what they found and keep going until they are
satisfied or feel they've reached a dead end.

Literally, this is the kind of deal breaker point for many. Just the
presence of the email on internal email servers whether it was clicked
on to be read or not can be a massive headache.

> I'm thinking of something like a secondary list (e.g.
> discuss-IP at ixda.org) or a subject tag (similar to [EVENT]).

A secondary list that people can entirely avoid would be great (and
would also go down the path of solving the Jobs and Events issue to
boot). But if it was only a tagging a system where the message is
still in the main digest but is only filtered on the client end may
not be enough.

> We're supposed to be clever designers here - can't we design a
> solution that meets the diverse needs of this group?

Occam's Razor comes to mind here. Clever is not the solution imho.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

6 Jun 2008 - 3:19pm
DrWex
2006

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk
<andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> Opening them is not the problem. It's having their presence on your internal
> email servers to boot. When you get lawyers asking for information, they
> take everything to see what you have, because proving what you've read or
> not via email is difficult. So just it's presence is often what they are looking for.

I used to work for a company that made compliance solutions for email
and IM monitoring and archiving, and I'm pretty aware of the
situation. Ask me over a beer some time and I'll tell you the "Paris
Hilton" story. User research in this domain was FUN!

That said, I think it's a well-understood fact that people cannot
control what email is sent to them, and all email systems record
information such as whether or not a mail message is read.

I recognize your desire never to have such messages appear in your
inbox - it's always easier never to have to answer the question, but
I'm unwilling to restrict the discussion of a list of hundreds of
people when alternatives are available. As noted, you can go to
reading the list via Web interface and have NO messages from the list
appear in your inbox.

> Occam's Razor comes to mind here. Clever is not the solution imho.

Your alternative to "clever" seems to be "prohibition", which is both
infeasible and, in my opinion, undesirable. New people will
constantly join the list and be unaware of past discussions on this
topic. You cannot wholesale ban an entire category of natural
discussion by fiat simply because you work in an unusually restrictive
environment.

So, please, be a little more clever with me here.

Best,
--Alan

6 Jun 2008 - 3:34pm
Josh Seiden
2003

After some offline discussions, I want to clarify what I wrote
earlier.

1. IxDA isn't going to take a position in this dispute. As an
organization, we have no meaningful visibility into the issues, nor
do we have the resources to develop that visibility. Thus we are not
is a position to take a position, a must remain neutral.

2. We understand passion that the community feels on this subject.
Many of us are users of one or both of these products; no doubt
employees of both firms are members of the community as well. There
is likely to be a diversity of opinion and need here, and we ask that
members understand that as well.

3. Both the organization and some of our members could be exposed to
unpleasant legal consequences as a result of this discussion.
Therefore, we ask that those interested in continuing this discussion
do so offline, on one of your blogs perhaps, or in some other forum.

4. If someone in the community wants to organize a petition drive or
create any other action plan as a *private citizen*, of course you
may do so. But please refrain from doing so on the IxDA discussion
list. You may post a reference to your efforts here, but please
organize off-list. Also, your efforts will be your own: please don't
use the IxDA name.

5. Andrei's point about patent discussions on-list is an important
one an needs to be given serious thought. At this point, it looks
like there are two action items for the Board here.
1) we will investigate the idea of an opt-in sandbox for
patent-related discussions. (Volunteers please contact me off-list.)
2) we will discuss creating a policy to explicitly deal with these
types of discussions.

I hope folks will understand the organization's position here. We
are a young organization, and still learning and growing. From time
to time, issues emerge for which we have no precedent, and sometimes
it gets a little chaotic while we figure things out.

So I ask for your indulgence, goodwill, and cooperation.

Thanks,
Josh Seiden
President, IxDA Board of Directors

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 8:57am
Mario Bourque
2008

The patent information is here:
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7349837/claims.html

Technically, I can do a lot of the things described in that patent
with tools from Adobe, Microsoft, and IBM. That is a formidable force
to go after. Axure, however, is not in that group and would make it a
strategic advantage for iRise to kill them.

We've previously discussed how Fireworks is becoming increasingly
used as a rapid prototyping tool, and I've been using Lotus Notes
(bet you didn't know that) to do a lot of RP. If iRise is able to
shut down Axure, which I'm sure takes away a significant amount of
their market share.

The risk for iRise is the negative PR that it will ultimately receive
if it ultimately shuts down Axure. Is it worth shooting yourself in
the foot for bigger market share? There a plenty of examples of that.
It would have made more sense to buy them and offer Axure as an entry
point.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 8:21am
Mario Bourque
2008

I'm going to ping my contact at iRise and see if I can get more info.

--
Mario Bourque
Web: www.mariobourque.com
Email: mario at mariobourque.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mariobourque

6 Jun 2008 - 3:42pm
Mario Bourque
2008

My apologies for posting that link, the previous post was posted this
morning and only appeared on the thread a few minutes ago.

I did inquire and nobody is available to comment.

Me thinks this is going to be a very delicate operation.

Mario

6 Jun 2008 - 4:18pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jun 6, 2008, at 3:34 PM, Alan Wexelblat wrote:

> I'm aware of the issues, but I'm uncomfortable with banning an entire
> class of discussion from the entirety of the mailing list. Is there a
> way to tag potentially risky messages so that people who cannot deal
> with these things can filter the messages without having to open them?

No kidding. Banning any discussions on this list that have to do with
patents is just plain silly. As many others have said, we have the
right and need to be able to discuss this, as it definitely impacts
our ability to do our work. The actions of iRise could be interpreted
as monopolizing the market, or trying bully Axure out of existence. We
have the right to know about this and discuss it's impact on our market.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

6 Jun 2008 - 4:56pm
DrWex
2006

Josh

> 3. Both the organization and some of our members could be exposed to
> unpleasant legal consequences as a result of this discussion.
> Therefore, we ask that those interested in continuing this discussion
> do so offline, on one of your blogs perhaps, or in some other forum.

It's not clear to me how the IxDA organization could be at risk here.
I do not think it's a good idea for the organization to take an active
role in discouraging discussion that is of concern to its membership,
even out of good intention.

--Alan

6 Jun 2008 - 5:05pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 6, 2008, at 2:18 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> No kidding. Banning any discussions on this list that have to do
> with patents is just plain silly.

I just re-read everything I wrote today. No where in my messages did I
use the word "ban." There are many viable solutions, and yes, removing
oneself from the list is absolutely part of the solution options for
some of us. But I want to make sure people don't think I'm proposing
banning anything as I'm not. However...

> As many others have said, we have the right and need to be able to
> discuss this, as it definitely impacts our ability to do our work.

On that note, I think this may need clarification. If by "discuss
this" you mean the business, practitioner or philosophical issues and
at high level, about one company suing another over tools some
designers use and need for their work, I absolutely agree. But if by
"discuss this" you means the details of the patents themselves as part
of that discussion -- what they say, what was patented, how it was
patented, etc -- that would be different and inappropriate for an
organization that aims to support professional product designers.

> The actions of iRise could be interpreted as monopolizing the
> market, or trying bully Axure out of existence. We have the right to
> know about this and discuss it's impact on our market.

Given this statement, I presume you mean the former in what I stated
above. I agree it's an issue that should be vetted. But as a community
of professionals who work in the high-technology, people *have* to be
cognizant of the very real legal implications of how something like
this is discussed on a practitioner supported discussion list.

I think Josh has stated the IxDA's position and action items
elegantly. They all get the issue, its complexity and the
implications. They'll do the appropriate thing and just need some time
to figure it out.

Enjoy the weekend. I'll leave this one alone again for a while.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

6 Jun 2008 - 5:26pm
SemanticWill
2007

"removing oneself from the list is absolutely part of the solution options "

Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's ludicrous.
Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the bill of
rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?

- W

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 6:05 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <
andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:

>
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 2:18 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
>
> No kidding. Banning any discussions on this list that have to do with
>> patents is just plain silly.
>>
>
> I just re-read everything I wrote today. No where in my messages did I use
> the word "ban." There are many viable solutions, and yes, removing oneself
> from the list is absolutely part of the solution options for some of us. But
> I want to make sure people don't think I'm proposing banning anything as I'm
> not. However...
>
> As many others have said, we have the right and need to be able to discuss
>> this, as it definitely impacts our ability to do our work.
>>
>
> On that note, I think this may need clarification. If by "discuss this" you
> mean the business, practitioner or philosophical issues and at high level,
> about one company suing another over tools some designers use and need for
> their work, I absolutely agree. But if by "discuss this" you means the
> details of the patents themselves as part of that discussion -- what they
> say, what was patented, how it was patented, etc -- that would be different
> and inappropriate for an organization that aims to support professional
> product designers.
>
> The actions of iRise could be interpreted as monopolizing the market, or
>> trying bully Axure out of existence. We have the right to know about this
>> and discuss it's impact on our market.
>>
>
> Given this statement, I presume you mean the former in what I stated above.
> I agree it's an issue that should be vetted. But as a community of
> professionals who work in the high-technology, people *have* to be cognizant
> of the very real legal implications of how something like this is discussed
> on a practitioner supported discussion list.
>
> I think Josh has stated the IxDA's position and action items elegantly.
> They all get the issue, its complexity and the implications. They'll do the
> appropriate thing and just need some time to figure it out.
>
> Enjoy the weekend. I'll leave this one alone again for a while.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
>

6 Jun 2008 - 5:41pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jun 6, 2008, at 3:26 PM, Will Evans wrote:

> "removing oneself from the list is absolutely part of the solution
> options "
>
> Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's
> ludicrous.
> Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the
> bill of
> rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?
>

Andrei is correct about this.

If we begin to discuss the details of particular patents, every member
of this organization becomes at risk for patent infringement should
they design a similar product--knowingly or unknowingly, whether they
have read the mail or not. And this organization--or any professional
organization--should never knowingly support actions that put its
members in legal jeopardy. It is best for all concerned to not engage
in discussion about the particulars of individual patents. Even
knowing the existence of a patent can be legally troubling.

This is the world we live (and work) in.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Experience Design Director, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

6 Jun 2008 - 5:48pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:26 PM, Will Evans wrote:

> Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's
> ludicrous.
> Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the
> bill of
> rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?

I'm thinking the latter.

Andrei is correct. This is a "plausible deniability" issue.

If the community wants a forum where this stuff can be discussed, then
it just needs a walled area, where those who are at risk can easily
avoid the conversations.

This is neither a freedom of speech or a bill of rights issue. This is
a will-I-be-hauled-into-deposition-and-deposed-on-emails-in-my-
inbasket question.

As an expert witness, I've prepared court documents where emails were
the apparent "smoking gun". Just being on the distribution list can
deliver a world of grief and suffering to folks, even if they try to
claim they never read or saw the message.

This is not a high-and-righteous issue. It's a protect-your-fellow-
colleagues issue.

Jared

6 Jun 2008 - 5:54pm
SemanticWill
2007

"This is neither a freedom of speech or a bill of rights issue. This is a
will-I-be-hauled-into-deposition-and-deposed-on-emails-in-my-inbasket
question."

Common Jared, this is exactly that. I state now that I have no skin in the
game - but I am gagged from talking about it? This is absolutely a
bill-0-rights issue. I can't talk about something I want to talk about lest
the SS come to my house.

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 6:48 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:26 PM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's ludicrous.
>> Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the bill
>> of
>> rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?
>>
>
>

6 Jun 2008 - 5:58pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

Nobody is "gagging" you about anything.

They are just asking for a no-patent-discussion zone. It's a matter of
courtesy.

Think of the discussion as second-hand smoke.

Jared

On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:54 PM, Will Evans wrote:

> "This is neither a freedom of speech or a bill of rights issue. This
> is a will-I-be-hauled-into-depositio
> n-and-deposed-on-emails-in-my-inbasket question."
>
> Common Jared, this is exactly that. I state now that I have no skin
> in the game - but I am gagged from talking about it? This is
> absolutely a bill-0-rights issue. I can't talk about something I
> want to talk about lest the SS come to my house.
>
>
> On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 6:48 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:
>
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:26 PM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's
> ludicrous.
> Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the
> bill of
> rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?
>
>

6 Jun 2008 - 6:00pm
White, Jeff
2007

This is a sensitive topic that I can't pretend to know much about. But no
one is saying you can't talk about it. As your IxD peers, they are simply
asking you to discuss it somewhere in order to help them avoid a world of
legal pain. Seems completely reasonable.

Jeff

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 3:54 PM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:

> "This is neither a freedom of speech or a bill of rights issue. This is a
> will-I-be-hauled-into-deposition-and-deposed-on-emails-in-my-inbasket
> question."
>
> Common Jared, this is exactly that. I state now that I have no skin in the
> game - but I am gagged from talking about it? This is absolutely a
> bill-0-rights issue. I can't talk about something I want to talk about lest
> the SS come to my house.
>
>
>

6 Jun 2008 - 6:29pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Will you are over-simplifying "freedom of speech" to an extreme, but
I won't go there at all.

My previous gig was for a financial document management organization.
Our product allowed people to share documents around due-diligence
processes. The people involved were often involved in securities
trading of some kind. This meant that if they had "insider
information" about publicly traded companies they would have to
sequester themselves from any trading on that company.

What we created was a flagging system. A user would say, I can only
look at public information and the posters of information would flag
their documents/content as either public or private (private = inside
info). If it was private, not only the content was hidden from the
public user, but so was its existence (as even the title name might
lead to inside information).

The gist of it is that people can flag themselves and we COULD create
an auto-content-flagging system around specific tags or topics this
way we aren't relying on human beings like we do for many topics and
tags, but do the auto-tagging. Basically if the word patent is in a
message it is flagged (the entire thread).

How might this work? Well we use RSS feeds, right? Well, someone can
subscribe to the patent-free RSS feed instead of to the full list.
All auto-tagged content that is patent related would be removed from
that feed.

Just a suggestion. If you insist on using other methods than
obviously you don't care enough or the situation doesn't bother you
enough.

The only thing I would ask to keep the garden even more walled is
that we redesign our thread pages and discussion index pages so that
other threads are not listed in the sidebar (I'm sure there are
other web site design issues as well.) The reason the web site is so
important is that for RSS folks its the only viable way to reply to a
thread comment.

Just some thoughts.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 6:49pm
Katie Albers
2005

I have to come down on Jared's side here. You can talk about it all
you want. You will not be hauled away in the middle of the night. You
will not be prevented in any way from saying anything you like. You
will not wind up in jail, and you will not be charged with anything
stemming from this discussion here (at least not at this point --
anyone trying to overthrow the government with Axure has a separate
problem...or two). On the contrary, everything we are talking about
is discovery processes conducted entirely above board and according
to the legal processes in place for finding evidence.

HOWEVER you or anybody else who discussed it (including me) may
someday find themselves working for a company that is being sued or
is suing in a patent case, or where this discussion means that you
were one of the parties to a discussion in which that person
participated, where there are some legal similarities (and do not for
one millisecond believe that what that means is predictable to a
layman) and your communications wind up as possible evidence and are
therefore subject to a subpoena duces tecum, or other similar
discovery process, which means they go through all your emails to
find evidence they reasonably believe may exist and which they have
convinced a judge that it is reasonable to believe such evidence
exists.

There is absolutely NOTHING in this that is in opposition to the Bill
of Rights or any other portion of the Constitution. In fact, it is
the result of somewhat rigorous adherence to the laws of those
documents.

All of that to the side: Can we please agree that the discussion of
any particular patent *at the very least* be labelled as [Patent]? It
probably won't be adequate to avoid the issues, but having a filter
in place that sends such discussion immediately to the trash before
viewing and if it predates the discussion that follows may ease
potential issues.

It would be far better if we could set up a separate mailing list for
these discussions, but I'm not really in a position to suggest that.

Katie

>"This is neither a freedom of speech or a bill of rights issue. This is a
>will-I-be-hauled-into-deposition-and-deposed-on-emails-in-my-inbasket
>question."

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

6 Jun 2008 - 7:07pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:41 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> Even knowing the existence of a patent can be legally troubling.

Interesting. So how many of you completely avoid every tech news site
(e.g. Engadget), which regularly post news items containing not only
the title and basic summary of the patent, but actual content,
including diagrams?

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Things should be as simple as possible,
but no simpler.

- Albert Einstein

6 Jun 2008 - 7:10pm
DrWex
2006

Yes, it's true that this is not a "free speech" or "Bill of Rights"
issue. However, it's being taken to ridiculous extremes. Are the
people who are trying to maintain plausible deniability also going to
claim that they never visit a news site? No news.google, no cnet, no
cnn? Because, you know, there are news stories there that cover
patent issues and some of them even include specific patent numbers.
And if you think your browser history is any more secure than your
email, well I've a bridge I'd like to sell you.

What I see is an extremely strict and hypersensitive standard being
overbroadly and selectively applied. Email lists are just one
possible means by which a practitioner may be exposed to inadvertent
knowledge of specific patented techniques. It is the job of
professional organizations to help educate members, not to be
electronic nannies. IxDA is no more special than ACM, IEEE, AIGA or
any other organization, and none of those larger and
longer-established organizations try to impose this kind of selective
blackout on their mailing lists. For us to do so is not just
impossible, it's antithetical to the purposes for which professional
organizations are formed - purposes that include information-sharing.

--Alan

P.S. Be sure you don't turn on your car radios, either. I hear NPR
has news programs that you probably shouldn't listen to.

6 Jun 2008 - 8:15pm
Matt Attaway
2004

Perhaps a solution for people who are concerned about "tainted
inboxes" would be to use the the web interface and turn off the list
mail. I use an RSS reader to track changes and comment via the
website, and find it to be very pleasant, and it leaves my inboxes
squeaky clean.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29902

6 Jun 2008 - 8:23pm
Kontra
2007

> Are the people who are trying to maintain plausible deniability also going to
> claim that they never visit a news site?

Or use a PC at a library? Or a friend's house? Or AOL or some other
proxy server? Or prove in the negative that they didn't access what's
otherwise publicly available? Etc.

Just a couple of months ago it was given legal posture, for example,
that the simple act of making music files available for download
constituted copyright infringement. RIAA had built a lucrative legal
process of threats and shakedowns...until somebody challenged them:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9932004-7.html

There are no laws against suing ostriches.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

6 Jun 2008 - 9:51pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:23 PM, Kontra wrote:

>> Are the people who are trying to maintain plausible deniability
>> also going to
>> claim that they never visit a news site?
>
> Or use a PC at a library? Or a friend's house? Or AOL or some other
> proxy server? Or prove in the negative that they didn't access what's
> otherwise publicly available? Etc.

I've got an idea... why don't those of you who seem to not believe the
very credible sources on this list (myself, Dan, Jared, Chauncey,
Katie, Josh, etc) who are telling you it's a real issue do yourselves
a favor and go talk to an IP or patent lawyer and let them explain it
to you. It appears some of you obviously don't believe us, so please
go discuss it with someone else who has a law degree so we stop
wasting your and our time trying to tell you something those same
people with law degrees already told us.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

6 Jun 2008 - 10:11pm
Kontra
2007

> people with law degrees already told us.

Are these the same people with law degrees who drafted RIAA's "making
available" strategy? Or a different set of legal merchants who peddle
the theoretical exposure = prior knowledge approach until it's
challenged?

Like I said, any sufficiently incentivized lawyer can sue you for
walking down the street, as well as burying your head in the sand.
Same billable hours.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

6 Jun 2008 - 10:31pm
Scott McDaniel
2007

Here's an idea:
I don't care what people's positions are on IP or patents or whatever,
just take your sandbox spat to private emails.

Thanks a ton!
Scott

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:51 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk
<andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
>
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:23 PM, Kontra wrote:
>
>>> Are the people who are trying to maintain plausible deniability also
>>> going to
>>> claim that they never visit a news site?
>>
>> Or use a PC at a library? Or a friend's house? Or AOL or some other
>> proxy server? Or prove in the negative that they didn't access what's
>> otherwise publicly available? Etc.
>
> I've got an idea... why don't those of you who seem to not believe the very
> credible sources on this list (myself, Dan, Jared, Chauncey, Katie, Josh,
> etc) who are telling you it's a real issue do yourselves a favor and go talk
> to an IP or patent lawyer and let them explain it to you. It appears some of
> you obviously don't believe us, so please go discuss it with someone else
> who has a law degree so we stop wasting your and our time trying to tell you
> something those same people with law degrees already told us.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. ~ Grant Morrison

7 Jun 2008 - 2:36am
stauciuc
2006

On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 1:41 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Jun 6, 2008, at 3:26 PM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> "removing oneself from the list is absolutely part of the solution options
>> "
>>
>> Why would any one of us have to bow out to discuss this. It's ludicrous.
>> Last I checked - even with the current administration - most of the bill
>> of
>> rights is still in tact. Or am I naive?
>>
>>
> Andrei is correct about this.
>
> If we begin to discuss the details of particular patents, every member of
> this organization becomes at risk for patent infringement should they design
> a similar product--knowingly or unknowingly, whether they have read the mail
> or not. And this organization--or any professional organization--should
> never knowingly support actions that put its members in legal jeopardy. It
> is best for all concerned to not engage in discussion about the particulars
> of individual patents. Even knowing the existence of a patent can be legally
> troubling.
>
> This is the world we live (and work) in.
>

Hmm, that's just sad. Maybe it's the world that needs changing then?..

Sebi,
Another naive one.

>
> Dan
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Experience Design Director, Adaptive Path
> http://www.adaptivepath.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
>
>
> <http://www.ixda.org/help>
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

7 Jun 2008 - 2:51am
Janne Kaasalainen
2008

Hi,

The lawyers have briefed us as well that it's just better not to know,
and not to search for patent related information while developing
anything. Hazy, nasty, and quite sad matter of state, but that's how
it goes over here at least.

> Hmm, that's just sad. Maybe it's the world that needs changing then?..

I personally wait for the day that the whole maddening IP-system gets
a major revamp.

-Janne

7 Jun 2008 - 10:23am
Nancy Roberts
2008

I'm a bit new to this whole thing... I thought the discussion was to alert
people who used a tool they bought with reasonable expectation that it was
legitimate to use, that it was being threatened by a lawsuit. Frankly, I
didn't bother with the specific patent info because that is way beyond me.
What is relevant to me is whether I'll be able to continue using a tool that
is an important part of my daily existence, or whether I'm going to be
*forced* to spend thousands to get the same function. If this discussion
board isn't the right place for that information to be shared, where is??

I'm neither a lawyer nor a seasoned pro in this field (or at least, my hard
drive has never been subpoenaed... gosh, I feel like such a newbie...) but I
keep thinking if I drive a Ford, and Ford is being sued by Honda for a
patent infringement, and some other car owners and I have a discussion about
this, have we opened ourselves up to legal action? Even if we operate car
repair shops... can't we talk about this? Or is the mode of discussion
(i.e., a professional organization)?

I'm actually curious about this, quite apart from also wanting to know what
all this means for me being able to continue to use my favorite prototyping
tool.

Nancy

On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 3:51 AM, Janne Kaasalainen <
janne.kaasalainen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> The lawyers have briefed us as well that it's just better not to know, and
> not to search for patent related information while developing anything.
> Hazy, nasty, and quite sad matter of state, but that's how it goes over here
> at least.
>
> Hmm, that's just sad. Maybe it's the world that needs changing then?..
>>
>
>
> I personally wait for the day that the whole maddening IP-system gets a
> major revamp.
>
>
> -Janne
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

9 Jun 2008 - 7:32pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

On Jun 6, 2008, at 6:05 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>> On that note, I think this may need clarification. If by "discuss
>> this" you mean the business, practitioner or philosophical issues
>> and at high level, about one company suing another over tools some
>> designers use and need for their work, I absolutely agree. But if
>> by "discuss this" you means the details of the patents themselves
>> as part of that discussion -- what they say, what was patented, how
>> it was patented, etc -- that would be different and inappropriate
>> for an organization that aims to support professional product
>> designers.

My organization certainly aims to support professional product
designers... but assiduously avoiding exposure to patents has never
been something that I or any of my clients has ever faced or even
mentioned. For what it's worth, in my entire 14-year career as a
designer of interfaces and products I've never heard of this.

What's more, perhaps some companies may wish to do the precise
opposite of the policy you describe. They may wish to study their
competitors' patents with intense and brazen scrutiny with the express
purpose of creating products that avoid those existing patents
completely. Does nobody at Microsoft peruse the many Apple patents
published on the web, or vice versa? As Jack Moffett asked, are
Engadget and countless other product blogs off-limits to professional
designers? I find that hard to fathom.

Furthermore, one could argue that this admonition to avoid exposure to
patents is a great way to stifle and restrict a product designer's
ability to design great new products. Reading and viewing technology
and UI patents is (to address another recent thread) a great source of
product design inspiration.

So...

Please grant me a punk rock moment:

I can understand Andrei's sensitivity to this (he used to work at
Adobe, a company with a history of (IMHO) patent law abuse), and in
fact Andrei invented several patents that Adobe holds today (http://www.patentstorm.us/inventors/Andrei_M__Herasimchuk/2380240.html
, patents that presumably Adobe may wish to use someday to sue one of
us for designing a product that vaguely resembles one of them.

But Jared? Dan? Do you guys really avoid ever looking at patents,
avoid discussing them at conferences or on blogs? Not even, for
example, Nokia or Apple's widely-discussed gesture patents, or Apple's
planned human interface devices?

Or are we all just playing lip service to the bullying tactics of the
big patent law abusers? Are we letting the terrorists win? Where is
the Dan Saffer who literally called "BULLSHIT" on this behavior two
years ago (http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=9101)?

I agree that this isn't an constitutional or ethically-based "It's
wrong to publish patents!" discussion, but rather a practically-
focused "the bastards will sue you" concern. But cowing to the
aforementioned bastards by stifling my ability to discuss or view
patents was never part of my vision of the happy and rewarding career
I've enjoyed and hope to continue to enjoy. And the idea of giving
those bastards exactly what they want, and allowing patent law to be
abused yet again, and allowing potentially great design to be crushed
by fearmongering lawyers, is almost impossible to accept.

For those concerned about the legal ramifications of exposure to
competitors' patents, the best solutions seem to be:
1) Quit the list.
2) Quit your company (or client).

Cheers,
-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

9 Jun 2008 - 8:19pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jun 9, 2008, at 5:32 PM, Christopher Fahey wrote:

> But Jared? Dan? Do you guys really avoid ever looking at patents,
> avoid discussing them at conferences or on blogs? Not even, for
> example, Nokia or Apple's widely-discussed gesture patents, or
> Apple's planned human interface devices?
>
> Or are we all just playing lip service to the bullying tactics of
> the big patent law abusers? Are we letting the terrorists win? Where
> is the Dan Saffer who literally called "BULLSHIT" on this behavior
> two years ago (http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=9101)?

I'm still standing. And that patent filing was bullshit. And I still
agree with what I wrote deeper into that old thread, namely:

"It is one thing to patent an UI idea that creates a distinct
technical/business advantage for your company. I'm thinking of, say,
Amazon's one click button. It is quite another to file broad patents
that hinder whole industries and whose features are in common use."

But I also, in retrospect, probably shouldn't have posted it to the
list. As stupid as the patent filing was, it could have put some list
members in jeopardy (although in that case, it would be nearly
impossible for any of us to work on the web--but I digress).

I think there is a cultural divide here, based on the products one
works on. Back when I worked almost exclusively on the web, patents
were basically ignored. I barely gave them a second thought, and no
client ever mentioned them at all. Not once in over 13 years of web
work. But once I started working in the software and hardware world,
it's a whole different ballgame. Intellectual Property is taken
seriously. It is my understanding, as paradoxical as it may seem, that
all major software and hardware manufacturers forbid their designers
to know anything about patents being filed. Why? Because knowledge of
a patent can triple damages awarded if the company is found to be
infringing on a patent. So even if (as assuredly it would) inspire us
or enlighten us or whatever, it is best to avoid them. In this case,
yes, the lawyers have won.

While I am extremely curious about the patents being filed right now
(and especially the gestural patents), I have to avoid looking at them
as much as possible.

Dan

9 Jun 2008 - 10:14pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 9, 2008, at 6:19 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> But once I started working in the software and hardware world, it's
> a whole different ballgame. Intellectual Property is taken seriously.

100% correct. And as the "web" people evolve back to the where the
future digital game is going to be played -- that being hardware
bundled with software solutions for truly rich digital products -- I
assure you this issue will become very real for a lot of people who
want to practice design professionally at that level.

> So even if (as assuredly it would) inspire us or enlighten us or
> whatever, it is best to avoid them. In this case, yes, the lawyers
> have won.

Yup. And in case it was not stated, the correct way to fight patent
law is to get involved in politics and get your representative in
Congress to work to get the law changed. The *incorrect* way to do it
is by doing things that can put your fellow design professionals at
risk, like linking patents or discussing their contents openly in an
effort to show The Man what is what.

So, I'll ask again -- even though this time patents with my name on
them were linked, which therefore means it won't affect me personally
in this instance -- please do not post links or otherwise discuss the
contents of patents on the IxDA distribution list.

Seriously.... do people want folks to quit the list over this issue? I
assure you if I walked into the lawyer's offices over at Google,
Yahoo, Adobe, Microsoft, or pretty much any major Silicon Valley
company and informed them that people were discussing and posting
patents on it, this distribution list would *lose* every single one of
those people as a contributor or subscriber to this list.

Why on earth would any of you want to play that sort of game?
Really... The lawyers will win. And you are honestly putting the IxDA
board in a very tricky pickle for no real good reason. The IxDA will
evolve with the right policy and people will learn not to do it and
yes, there will be the occasional slip up... But seriously, if you
don't like the law, go work to get it changed.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

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