"Our patent application clearly outlines that the
“look and feel” of a YogaGlo online streaming class
is comprised of the following elements that all must be present in conjunction with one another: position of
camera, position of the teacher, position of the mats relative to the camera and the teacher, an open corridor down
the middle, the teacher must be facing the camera,
the students must be facing the teacher, etc. We are
not seeking to patent a camera angle. We are not
seeking to patent the placement of a teacher in a
room (online, offline, in your private studio, in
your public studio). We are seeking to patent this
one very particular combination of elements for a single online class."
This is so ridiculous.
So the next innovation will be an open corridor on an oblique line from a back corner to the instructor. And then another with an open corridor from the back middle to the instructor at a front corner.
Oh, the innovations to come! I feel like I'm living in the future!
"Filing Compliant Reexamination Requests"
Is this accurate?
And this not the first time IP Law has come into play here:
Despite all this Yogaglo is a fantastic case of a highly successful, primarily bootstrapped business.
At best, pure business type are a necessary evil, doing the dirty work that enables people to make a living by offering genuine value. But at worst, they are soulless parasites leeching out every ounce of passion and creativity for a cold, hard buck.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspi...
In case you're going to further ask in-kind whether this means I'm saying the concept of business and/or money itself should be banished, the answer is no.
I was filmed in a Yoga class in 2007 using this technique. I don't have access to the video and am no longer in contact with the instructor, but I remember it happening and then saw the footage with my own eyes. I hope she reads this article and sends in the video as prior art!
The first to file only refers to two inventors patenting the same non public (or public in the span of a year) invention. Anything public for more than a year cannot be patented because there's prior art (obviously).
So if you want to ensure someone don't sue you for a patent, you just have to publish everything you've been using.
Of course this is a lie, because there's always a patent that you can be sued, because even if you can invalidate said patent (even with another patent), you will still have to pay a lot of money.
This has nothing to do with first to file. You still need to meet obviousness and novelty requirements.
The move actually is to reduce the legal wranglings and to come in line with the rest of the world.
It has always been the case that public use or description of an idea was supposed to make it impossible to get a patent.
That's a dead letter today. The patent office will eventually approve just about anything if you're persistent enough and use a thesaurus to make your claims seem a little different.
For instance, an East Texas jury just awarded a $2 million dollar verdict against NewEgg for using public key encryption in SSL. The patent was applied for in 1989. Whit Diffie, of course, invented and published public key encryption in 1976 and testified at the trial. The judge told the jury that the Patent Office was entitled to the presumption of validity over Mr. Diffie.
Experts including Diffie who have discussed it with the mathematicians in question conclude that nobody else had a full working system for it before Diffie published.
Well it is de-facto patentable, in that this patent was granted.
Maybe not, but are the organizations that Yogaglo will file suit against able to afford a defense? That's why this strikes me as particularly slimy.
The worst thing that can happen to an innovator is not that somebody copies your precious thing, is that they (trolls or not) sue you first, that you can't even compete. Even if the patent is bogus and you hope to theoretically win the legal battle you'll go broke from even trying.
Here in Germany, losers pay and the cost for lawyers is calculated by the amount the argument is about. This way, you can't bankrupt someone by winning a minor argument in court using extremely expensive lawyers.
Some companies with deep pockets are now fighting back at patent trolls to make it as expensive for them to do business as possible, and possibly even invalidating the patent in question. Regular ol' software companies obviously can't afford this, as it comes with price tag in the millions.
Then I could be safe from lawsuits in Germany if I confined my evil acts to things that were about too little money for the lawyers to be interested in going after?
The survey data cited in the post is from 2001. The post also says: "If you are looking for experienced patent attorneys at a reputable firm you should anticipate hourly rates to be somewhere between $275 to $400 per hour in areas outside major metropolitan areas and somewhere between $400 to $800+ per hour in major metropolitan areas."
FYI, patent litigators, who handle infringement claims and validity challenges, generally charge significantly more than those who do patent "prosecution" (that is, prepare and file patent applications and shepherd them through the USPTO examination process).
how many more cases like this will we see before the authorities realise that Big Yoga is abusing the patent system and stifling innovation that will seriously damage the whole yoga industry
It's good news, I guess. The more constituencies that are threatened by patent abuse, the more likely the system will be reformed. Since we as computer programmers are the top targets for this scam of a patent system, any allies we get should encourage us.
And yoga practitioners are more influential in Congress than computer programmers. Heck, illegal aliens and terrorists are more popular with Congress than we are.
 This one:
Good News, everyone.
First the bad news, though. Even if this patent is invalid, it will cost around a million dollars to fight a lawsuit against it. If YogaGlo sues you, your best bet is to pay whatever they ask, unless you have a million dollars laying around that you don't need. Validity or invalidity doesn't matter.
The good news is that there's a bill before Congress that can make things better. Today, unjustly accused patent infringers have no way to get their legal fees paid by their accusers even when they win. You just lose your million dollars in fees. If Congressman Goodlatte's "Innovation Act" (H.R. 3309) becomes law, the accusers will have to pay your fees if you win. That will put an end to most lawsuits based on invalid and frivolous patents.
The best thing of all is that you can do something about it! The Innovation Act has passed the House of Representatives and President Obama has been asking for reform legislation, but the fate of the bill in the Senate is in question. Senator Leahy, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, has introduced the Patent Transparency And Improvements Act (S. 1720) which has some provisions from the Innovations Act. Unfortunately, the Leahy bill does not include the loser-pays provision that would protect small business people and yoga teachers.
Call Senator Leahy's office and ask him to put a loser-pays provision in S. 1720 like the one in Congressman Goodatte's H.R. 3309. Then call your two home state senators and ask them to support a loser pays provision in S.1720. If you're a Vermonter, Leahy is your senator, so mention that you're calling from his home state. Constituent calls really matter. You will reach a smart, professional aide in your senator's office who will take down your message and your senator will hear about it. It only takes a couple minutes.
Contact information for your senator is here:
Senator Leahy's (D-VT) office number is (202) 224-4242.
The site owner can set how comments are moderated, if at all.
They may have opted for some degree of spam-checking, or they may have decided that all posts need explicit approval.
Given the nature of your post I'm skeptical they will allow it, link or no link. :(
Here's the claims, and they are mental:
1. A system for automatically producing a video representation of a yoga class configured so a remote viewer enjoys the experience of being in a real yoga class, the system comprising: a studio having a front area and a rear area; an instructor position located in the front area and facing the rear area; a line of sight corridor disposed between the rear area and the instructor; a plurality of students at student positions, facing the instructor position, distributed across the studio between the instructor position and the image capturing device wherein the student positions do not impinge upon the corridor; an image capturing device for capturing video located in the rear area disposed to provide a participatory view from a height of about three feet by capturing through the line of sight corridor, an unobstructed video of the instructor in the instructor position including images of the students disposed along the sides of the line of sight corridor; and sound capture equipment to capture at least audio of the instructions given by the instructor disposed in the instructor position to the students disposed in the student positions.
2. The system according to claim 1, further comprising remote control systems whereby the image capture device pans and zooms.
3. The system according to claim 1, further comprising means for recording the video.
4. The system according to claim 1, further comprising means for streaming the video via the Internet.
5. The system according to claim 1, further comprising means for adding music to the audio.
6. The system according to claim 1, wherein the instructor position includes an instructor's mat and each student position includes a student mat with each student mat disposed normal to the instructor's mat.
7. The system according to claim 1, wherein the corridor becomes wider near the image capture device.
8. A method for automatically producing a video representation of a yoga class configured so a remote viewer enjoys the experience of being in a real yoga class, comprising the steps of: providing a studio having a front area and a rear area; placing an instructor position at the front area of the studio, the instructor position disposed to face the rear area; locating an image capturing device for capturing video in the rear area at a height of about three feet to allow for a participatory view disposed to provide a participatory view from a height of about three feet by capturing an image of the instructor in the instructor position; laying out a line of sight corridor between the image capturing device and the instructor; distributing a plurality of student positions, facing the instructor position, across the studio between the instructor position and the image capturing device wherein the student positions are distributed so as not to impinge upon the corridor; capturing at least audio of the instructions given by the instructor disposed in the instructor position; and capturing a video of the instructor through the line of sight corridor, which video includes images of the students disposed along the sides of the line of sight corridor.
9. The method according to claim 8, further comprising a step of remotely controlling the image capture device.
10. The method according to claim 8, further comprising the step of recording the video.
11. The method according to claim 8, further comprising the step of streaming the video via the Internet.
12. The method according to claim 8, further comprising the step of adding music to the audio.
13. The method according to claim 8, further comprising a step of placing an instructor's mat in the instructor position and a student mat in each student position with each student mat disposed normal to the instructor's mat.
14. The method according to claim 8, further comprising a step of increasing the width of the corridor near the image capture device.
link to patent - http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=H...
This particular patent looks completely out of his usual field of expertise.
See for yourself http://patents.justia.com/examiner/nhon-diep
Note: I'm not a patent lawyer, but have a handful of patents and have helped my employer with addressing patent related issues.
The system here is basically a normal video presence system. But the claims specify the camera is at ~3 feet (whilst a normal video presence system will have the camera at average eye-level). That's the only part that might be hard to find a good citation against [in the allowed time] IMO.
The yoga parts are all non-technical elements so they add nothing.
Given the system is all well-known tech the method is all you've got.
That said the claims have a ring about them of not having been done by a highly skilled patent attorney.
But let's not bash Yogaglo; it could be a defensive patent for all we know. In a land where ridiculous patent grants are the norm, businesses have an incentive to file patents to protect themselves from patent trolls.
What deserves our ire is the patent system.
Edit: Thanks for the correction pizza234. The article was not accessible (server HNed I guess). And I assumed that the patent was granted recently enough that benefit of doubt can be given to Yogaglo.
> On September 23rd, Yoga International broke the news that they (among others) had received a cease-and-desist letter from another website which also offers yoga videos for streaming (soon revealed to be YogaGlo)
so, feel free to bash it.
Edit: oh, apparently I'm not allowed to correct my post. The more I'm here the more I'm frustrated by how HN is structured and how opaque its rules are.
This patent is absurd and has disastrous potential for our already broken patent system for all industries, not just instructional fitness. This just goes to show you how delicate your company is that you feel you need to patent the camera angle that you use when filming a live event. How about stop wasting money and time on frivolous patents and start working on making your product the best in the industry. You will make more money and ultimately have a happier customer base than going around bullying your competitors. GG.
Not a heavy facebook user myself - its mostly my older, non-technical friends - but that makes it the perfect place to post information about how detrimental this type of business practice is.
THIS is duergar.
Well there ya go, just make a video from the second row instead of the back row!
12. The method according to claim 8, further comprising the step of having the camera positioned looking down the actor's abdomen during penetration.
This patent is literally a joke.