BackWeb files patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft

Backweb, an Israeli company which creates communications acceleration software based on Push technology for the Web, intranets and extranets has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft claiming that the Microsoft Windows Update feature infringes on Backweb's 1999 patent titled Method and apparatus for transmitting and displaying information between a remote network and a local computer.

BackWeb alleges that Microsoft's Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Windows Update and other products infringe four U.S. patents owned by BackWeb, covering methods for transmitting information between a remote network and a local computer (U.S Patent No: 5,913,040 ) and distributed client-based data caching systems. The Microsoft products at issue are used regularly for Windows updates, IE, and Office applications. Additionally, the BITS product is used by other companies developing applications on Windows OS.

The full law suit including the patent details can be read below

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16 Comments

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Microsoft and Google are good targets for people strapped for cash. But I doubt they can get anything out of this except some popularity.

And what the hell is tag; obama lawsuit? LOL

BackWeb must be strapped for cash. In these troubling times what else can you do but try to take a piece of the Microsoft pie?

*Yawn*...... It truly amazes me what lengths companies will go to in order to extort money from Microsoft..... What would the business world do if suing Microsoft wasn't allowed? Commerce would crumble all over the world!

This is just bizarre. This is a big argument against the acceptance of patents on software... It's too convoluted. It's going to come to the point where you can't do anything without infringing on somesuch patent... It's absolutely ridiculous.

Strange. Patent #5913040 looks like it's a spyware/ad delivery package to me. Did they flub and sue the wrong company? BITS isn't an ad delivery service.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of presenting individualized advertisement items on a computer, said individualized advertisement items selected from a database of advertisement items stored on a network, said method comprising the steps of:...

2. The method of presenting individualized advertisement items of claim 1 wherein said presentation technique of step...

3. The method of presenting individualized advertisement items of claim 1 further comprising the step...

There's more, but I always assumed that a patent couldn't cover dissimilar claims?

EDIT: Oh, BackWeb... fail.

FloatingFatMan said,
Didn't Windows 95/98 have Automatic Update, and therefore BITS, too? Pretty sure there's shedloads of prior art here...

Win98 had Windows Update, it wasn't in '95. So, yup, been in regular use since before the patent was granted.

They're going to have a hell of a time proving this one, as some versions of NT and other MS products had similar technology long before 99...