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i-Technology Blog: Death-Knell For "Rich Media? Hardly!

"It's Just a Publicity Stunt" – Nexaweb Founder and RIA Pioneer Coach Wei

When a San Francisco web development company was on February 14 assigned a US patent covering the use of rich-media applications on the Internet, it was always going to be only a matter of time before the self-same Internet exploded with concern and astonishment.

The company in question is Balthaser Online, Inc. of Lafayette, CA, and the patent in question is US 7,000,180 - a patent for "Methods, systems, and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the internet."

The astonishment in question is near-universal. But first let me just back up and recount the facts.

Neil Balthaser, a San Francisco resident, filed his application for this patent on February 9, 2001 (Application No. 9/779,831) as a continuation in part of application No. 09/716460, filed on Nov. 21, 2000, which he abandoned.

The abstract, publicly available at the USPTO, summarizes the patent as follows:

"Rich-media applications are designed and created via the Internet. A host computer system, containing processes for creating rich-media applications, is accessed from a remote user computer system via an Internet connection.

User account information and rich-media component specifications are uploaded via the established Internet connection for a specific user account. Rich-media applications are created, deleted, or modified in a user account via the established Internet connection.

Rich-media components are added to, modified in, or deleted from scenes of a rich-media application based on information contained in user requests.

After creation, the rich-media application is viewed or saved on the host computer system, or downloaded to the user computer system via the established Internet connection. In addition, the host process monitors the available computer and network resources and determines the particular component, scene, and application versions, if multiple versions exist, that most closely match the available resources."

The full application - as one would expect, it is extremely detailed - is here

I asked a series of Rich-Media experts what they make of this United States Patent, starting with the Founder and CTO of Laszlo Systems, David Temkin.

NEXT PAGE: Read the Comments of David Temkin, Laszlo Systems; Coach Wei, Nexaweb; and Jim Phelan, Stream57.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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