FIRST EPICREALM DYNAMIC WEBSITE PATENT REJECTED BY PATENT OFFICE AFTER PUBPAT REQUEST : PTO Office Action Finds One of Patent Licensing Company's Widely Asserted Patents InvalidNew York, NY -- June 30, 2008 -- The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has rejected the first of two patents held by EpicRealm Licensing Inc. that the patent licensing company is widely asserting against providers of dynamic websites, i.e. websites that can produce custom responses to individual visitors or users. The rejection comes in response to the Public Patent Foundation's ("PUBPAT") formal requests to reexamine the patents. In those filings, PUBPAT had submitted prior art that the Patent Office was not aware of when reviewing the applications that led to the two patents and described in detail how the prior art invalidates the patents. The Patent Office has now found that the first patent indeed is invalid.
Despite no longer making any product or service itself, EpicRealm is asserting the patents against those that provide information and services to the public over the internet, a group which includes many private citizens, public service organizations and even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office itself. EpicRealm's assertion of the patents has included the filing of infringement lawsuits against more than a dozen mere end users of allegedly infringing web site systems. PUBPAT challenged the patents because EpicRealm's aggressive assertion of them is causing substantial public harm by threatening the way in which much of the most useful aspects of the Web are provided to the public.
"EpicRealm is yet another example of the growing trend of businesses whose sole purpose and activity is to sue others for patent infringement, but the fact that they are claiming rights over the vast majority of websites based on these patents that the Patent Office has now found have substantial issues relating to their validity only makes the matter that much more unsettling," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "Perhaps some day soon Congress will fix the patent system so that such exploitation cannot occur. In the interim, with respect to these specific patents, now that the Patent Office has agreed with us that the first of the patents is invalid, we expect them to find the same with respect to the other and then ultimately withdraw these patents from issuance."
A copy of the U.S. Patent Office's Office Action rejecting the first of the two patents EpicRealm is widely asserting dynamic websites can be found at PUBPAT > EpicRealm Website Patents.