You heard about the blow-up over amazon.com’s 1-click patent?
Patent troll sending out invoices for image hyperlinks
By Jacqui Cheng | Published: May 28, 2008 - 02:41PM CT
A company named Vuestar has reportedly been sending out invoices to companies that it believes are making use of its image-linking patents. The Singapore-based operation appears to be a patent holding firm, the only purpose of which is to license its IP out to other companies. Vuestar argues that it owns patents in Singapore, Australia, and the US that cover the linking of images (instead of merely text) on the web, and therefore everyone that makes use of such a technology needs to pay up.
The patent in question was issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office is titled “Method of locating web-pages by utilising visual images,” which was filed for in 2001 and granted in 2006. It describes a system that would list out images from web pages in search results so that users don’t have to follow links to get a visual representation of what they’re looking for. The links would not necessarily point to images, but could also include video, animation, a mini-screenshot of the web page itself, streaming video, or the logo of the organization that runs the page, among other things.