Patents on Internet "Push Technology"

Index of Selected Patents Internet Push Technology

Most of these patents involve so-called "Push Technology," which involves the automatic uploading of information (such as news bulletins, stock quotes, etc.) from a central server to a user's computer. Push technology was once (in the mid-to-late 90's) widely touted as an informational delivery system that would make conventional web browsing obsolete.

More Information about "Push" Technology and Patents

Marimba / Novadigm Patent Dispute

Marimba "Data Update" Patent

  • 5,919,247. This is Marimba Inc.'s "Method for the distribution of code and data updates" patent, filed on July 24, 1996 and granted on July 6, 1999. Here is the abstract:

    A system and method for distributing software applications and data to many thousands of clients over a network. The applications are called "channels", the server is called the "transmitter", and the client is called the "tuner". The use of channels is based on subscription. The end-user needs to subscribe to channel before it can be executed. When the end-user subscribes to a channel the associated code and data is downloaded to the local hard-disk, and once downloaded the channel can be executed many times without requiring further network access. Channels can be updated automatically at regular intervals by the tuner, and as a result the end-user is no longer required to manually install software updates, instead these software and data updates are automatically downloaded and installed in the background. This method of automatic downloading of updates achieves for the client the same result as the broadcast distribution of software over a connection based network, but wherein the client initiates each update request without requiring any special broadcast networking infra structure.

    Novadigm's "Fractional Differencing" Patent

  • 5,581,764. This patent, entitled "Distributed computer network including hierarchical resource information structure and related method of distributing resources," was filed on May 2, 1994 and granted on December 3, 1996. Here is the abstract:

    In an enterprise-wide network which includes at least one centralized computer and a plurality of desktop computers, a method for enterprise system management comprising the steps of: storing an Already Have list for each desktop; storing a plurality of Should Have sub-lists; and generating a respective Should Have list from the stored sub-lists for a respective desktop computer during configuration of the desktop computer; wherein the Schema of the generated Should Have list includes at least one dynamic linkage which encompasses more than on Should Have sub-lists.

    Marimba / Novadigm Patent Infringement Disputes

    Novadigm sued Marimba on March 3, 1997 for alleged willful infringement of the Novadigm 5,581,764 patent in the U.S. District Court in Northern California. Novadigm contended that Marimba's "Castanet" software infringed upon multiple claims of the '764 patent related to "specific methods for updating data and software over a computer network" (according to Marimba's 3/20/2000 10-K filing, referenced below).

    Soon after the initial infringement suit, Marimba responded with a counterclaim arguing that it had not infringed the '764 patent, and alleged that said patent was invalid.

    On August 20, 1997, Marimba, in conjunction with several other software companies, made a draft submission to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) concerning a "HTTP Distribution and Replication Protocol" (DRP). Soon afterwards, the Chairman and CEO of Novadigm, Inc. wrote to the W3C with concerns that Marimba's DRP submission "may be in violation" of a Novadigm patent and requested that the W3C suspend consideration of the submission until Novadigm's patent infringement suit against Marimba had concluded. In an August 27, 1997 press release, Novadigm's CEO explained that the DRP W3C submission "is not Marimba's to give away."

    "Marimba is a start-up which has garnered much attention, but apparently does not respect our property rights. We think that Marimba's sudden magnanimous decision to abandon their own patent process and donate the technology to open standards should be seen in the light of our already granted patent and the ongoing litigation as an exploitative action without regard to the obvious intellectual property issues involved. We own this technology and we're going to vigorously defend it, even as Marimba works aggressively to use and claim credit for it."

    Marimba filed its own lawsuit against Novadigm on July 30, 1999 in the same District Court on July 30, 1999, alleging that Novadigm had willfully infringed its newly acquired '247 patent.

    A January 6, 2000 CNET News article (referenced below) summarized the back-and-forth infringement litigation between Marimba and Novadigm.

    "The fight is a bitter, yet common battle between two companies haggling over use of patented software. Novadigm alleges Marimba, which makes software that allows companies to deliver software and information across the Web, used Novadigm's patented technology in its Castanet product line. In a statement issued this week, Marimba chief executive Kim Polese said the suit is without merit. Marimba is counter-suing, alleging that Novadigm infringed on a Marimba patent involving the distribution of code for content updates."
    On November 13, 2000, Marimba and Novadigm reached a confidential settlement resulting in the dismissal of both patent infringement suits.

    Also see:

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Forms

    Corporate Press Releases

    BackWeb's "Polite Technology" Patent

  • 5,919,247. This is BackWeb Ltd's "Polite Technology" patent entitled "Method and apparatus for transmitting and displaying information between a remote network and a local computer", filed on August 22, 1995 and granted on June 15, 1999. Here is the abstract:

    Methods and apparatus are provided for selecting advertisements and other information from a computer network database based on user defined preferences and transmitting the selected advertisement in background mode over a communications link between the computer network and a local computer with minimal interference with other processes communicating over the communications link. This method includes monitoring the communications link and transmitting portions of the advertisement when the communications link line utilization is below a preestablished threshold. Methods and apparatus are also provided for displaying or otherwise presenting the selected advertisements on the user's computer. Additional methods and apparatus are provided for selecting and presenting information stored on a local storage media based on user defined preferences.

    Also See:


    Corporate Documents (press releases, SEC filings)

    Intermind's "P3P" Patent

  • 5,919,247. This is Intermind Corporation's "P3P" patent entitled "Computer-based communication system and method using metadata defining a control structure", filed on September 27, 1996 and granted on January 19, 1999. Here is the abstract:

    An automated communications system operates to transfer data, metadata and methods from a provider computer to a consumer computer through a communications network. The transferred information controls the communications relationship, including responses by the consumer computer, updating of information, and processes for future communications. Information which changes in the provider computer is automatically updated in the consumer computer through the communications system in order to maintain continuity of the relationship. Transfer of metadata and methods permits intelligent processing of information by the consumer computer and combined control by the provider and consumer of the types and content of information subsequently transferred. Object oriented processing is used for storage and transfer of information. The use of metadata and methods further allows for automating may of the actions underlying the communications, including communication acknowledgements and archiving of information. Service objects and partner servers provide specialized data, metadata, and methods to providers and consumers to automate many common communications services and transactions useful to both providers and consumers. A combination of the provider and consumer programs and databases allows for additional functionality, including coordination of multiple users for a single database.

    Also See:

    Point Cast Patent

  • 5,740,549. This is PointCast's "Information and advertising distribution system and method" patent, filed on June 12, 1995 and granted on April 14, 1998. Here is the abstract:

    In summary, the present invention is an information and advertising distribution system. A data server stores and updates a database of information items and advertisements. The information items and advertisements are each categorized so that each has an associated information category. Workstations remotely located from the data server each include a display device, a communication interface for receiving at least a subset of the information items and advertisements in the data server's database and local memory for storing the information items and advertisements received from the data server. An information administrator in each workstation establishes communication with the data server from time to time so as to update the information items and advertisements stored in local memory with at least a subset of the information items and advertisements stored by the data server. An information display controller in each workstation displays on the workstation's display device at least a subset of the information items and advertisements stored in local memory when the workstation meets predefined idleness criteria. At least a subset of the workstations include a profiler for storing subscriber profile data. The subscriber profile data represents subscriber information viewing preferences, indicating information categories for which the subscriber does and does not want to view information items. The information display controller includes a filter for excluding from the information items displayed on the display device those information items inconsistent with the subscriber profile data.

    Also See:


    Questions, comments and suggestions to Vergil Bushnell

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