A SINGAPORE firm has threatened to sue websites that use pictures or graphics to link to another page, claiming it owns the patent for a technology used by millions around the world. In a move that has come under fire from the online community, VueStar Technologies has sent ‘invoices’ to local website operators asking for thousands of dollars in licensing fees …
Doesn’t this violate the fundamental rule about patents being that “the technology cannot be something obvious“?
Using images to link to other websites has been around for ages, goddamnit!
And furthermore – when I was a little kid learning HTML, I figured out how to link to other websites using images all by my tiny self without help from any web tutorials/books/what have yous – that is HOW FUCKING OBVIOUS the concept is!
And that was in 1997, waaaay before this so-called patent even existed.
There is talk that because the duration of the patent is coming to an end, the company is seeking to reap as much benefit they can from the patent by smacking charges on people before the patent officially expires.
Patent troll – that was the term people used. I absolutely agree. Typical, money-minded companies using the umbrella of their patent (and its associated rights and laws) to bully the rest of the online community into feeding their (money) faces.
If THAT is called a patent, then I can also go and patent simple, day by day tasks of walking, breathing and eating. (An annual license of $1000 payable for each action, perhaps?)
And plus, the nutcases who approved that sorry excuse of a patent better go get their heads checked. That patent was approved in 2003. Two FUCKING thousand and THREE. My circle of internet friends back then (plus my fellow bloggers) have been using images to link to other websites long before that. Perhaps even when God was still wearing diapers.
This is what I call the height of ridiculousness. Thank you for putting Singapore on the map for laughing stocks.