Kootol, a company based out of Rajkot, Gujarat, has sued Apple citing infringement of a US patent application 11/995,343 titled “A Method and System for Communication, Advertising, Searching, Sharing and Dynamically Providing a Journal Feed”. The inventor of the above mentioned application is a Mumbai based Yogesh Rathod (one of the co-founders of Kootol), who has assigned the patent application to Kootol.
In addition to Apple, Kootol also has send infringement notices to various other companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Bharti Airtel, Webaroo, Amazon, AOL, Nokia, Bebo, ExactTarget, Ford Motor, Foursquare, IBM, Linkedin, MySpace, NING, Research In Motion, Quora, Salesforce.com, Seesmic, Siemens, Sina.com, StatusNet, PopBox, Twitpic, Peek, The Iconfactory, Ubermedia, Yammer, Facebook and Twitter.
The first independent claim reads as:
A method for publishing and subscribing in a social network, the method comprising:
allowing user to manage Human Operating System (HOS) including one or more profiles, activities, applications, services, actions, transactions, groups, searching, sharing, communication, collaboration, contents and connections; receiving and storing each registered user’s one or more profile(s), user data, preferences and relational connections or dynamic relationships;
dynamically publishing one or more selectable users contents via one or more publications;
allow user to dynamically subscribing one or more selected contents from selected publications received from one or more connected or related users in the social network;
presenting or updating the subscribed contents to subscribing user based on one or more criteria and preferences to user interface.
The above claim seems to be very broad and seems to be applicable to most social networking or chatting applications.
Interestingly, the above referenced patent application is yet to be granted formally. An issue notification has been issued on July 13, 2011. The applicant has to pay the issuance fee, before the patent application is granted formally.
The rights of the patentee to prevent others from infringing his patent by suing in a court of law starts from the date of grant of the patent; however, in this case, Kootol seems to have jumped the gun and decided to go after infringers even before the grant of the patent.
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