Intermind has recently received a U.S. Patent, which it has indicated may be infringed by W3C metadata technologies, including the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P). W3C is researching the strength and applicability of this patent, and is looking for help in this process.
P3P is designed to keep users informed of sites' privacy practices, and to ensure that any information sent back to a site is in keeping with the stated privacy practices of the site. P3P privacy disclosures and requests for information are expressed in the W3C's widely deployed Extensible Markup Language (XML). P3P was developed within a consensus process involving representatives from more than a dozen W3C member organizations, as well as invited privacy experts from around the world.
Intermind's patent is entitled "COMPUTER-BASED COMMUNICATION SYSTEM AND METHOD USING METADATA DEFINING A CONTROL STRUCTURE." Intermind has said that
The essence of Intermind's top claims are that two nodesa sender and receiver have persistent storage, communicate over a network, and exchange a control structure defined by metadata (e.g. an XML file) which describes: 1) how to transfer updated information from the publisher to the subscriber, 2) how to transfer feedback information (and updates to that information) from the subscriber to the publisher, and 3) how to process the exchanged information by reference to the control structure. In addition, at least the receiving device must be able to process the metadata using instructions external to the control structure, i.e. process instances of a communications object.
"About Intermind's Communications Patents," http://www.intermind.com/materials/patent_desc.html
Intermind has also stated that its "patents cover numerous additional features of communications object systems."
A representative claim of the patent is shown below. A full text of the patent can be found at: http://www.patents.ibm.com/details?pn=US05862325__&s_clms=1#clms.
W3C is looking for information concerning any systems that predate the Intermind patent and create communications objects or data structures and transfer them from one machine to another so as to control communication of feedback information or update information between machines. Additionally, any information on added functionality related to protocol selection or control (e.g. HTTP vs. SMTP), encryption, persistence, distribution (subscriptions, forwarding), and particular applications such as determining user preferences or form processing are of interest.
W3C is looking for information showing the state of the art prior to the earliest possible priority date for the Intermind patent, February 29 1995, or at least before the filing dates of February 29,1996 and September 27 1996.
If you are aware of any prior art publications, specifications, software programs, books, systems or any other information about any technology that performed any of these functions prior to February 29, 1995 (or less desirably, February 29, 1996), please send such information to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
Representative claim of the Intermind patent:
- A computer-based communication system comprising:
- a provider memory storing information including provider information;
- a consumer memory storing information including consumer information;
- association means for creating metadata associating portions of said information and defining a control structure for processing at least at said consumer memory to associate with said metadata processes for controlling the communication of said associated information, said metadata including data exchange metadata associating a process for controlling the transfer of feedback information, said feedback information including at least a portion of said consumer information, to said provider memory;
- transfer means for transferring said information, including said metadata defining said control structure, from said provider memory to said consumer memory;
- feedback transfer means for transferring said feedback information from said consumer memory to said provider memory; and
- processing means for executing instructions external to said control structure to perform said processes to control communications of said information.