View all Webinars

Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

Close     Close Mobile Menu

BackWeb Technologies Sues IBM and HP on Software Patents For Background Downloads

The wagon train of software patent lawsuits rolls on.  As recently reported by Gene Quinn in his IP Watchdog blog (www.ipwatchdog.com), this time it’s IBM and HP that are in the cross-hairs, each being accused by BackWeb Technologies, Inc., of Santa Clara, California (and owned by an Israeli parent company) of infringing three US patents – U.S. 5,913,040, U.S. 6,317,789 and U.S. 6,539,429.  These patents cover systems for transmitting digital information in background mode.   To see an interactive claim chart of these patents claim limitations click here:  BackWeb Claim Chart

The chart shows that almost all of the claims, with a couple of interesting exceptions, require monitoring or determining a line or link utilization rate, and transmitting data based on the rate.  In the chart, the limitations in the left hand column are found in the respective claims (represented by the columns) if there is a blue square in the column.  The “relevance” column can be set equal to 1, 2 or 3.  If set to 3, then the chart assumes the target product has the corresponding limitation.  If set to 1, the limitation is not found, and if set to 2, it is indeterminate or possibly found in the target product.

According to the complaint filed against HP on September 23, HP distributes and sells software for the management of enterprise computer systems called HP Client Automation that facilitates the distribution of software over network connections. These software updates are provided using bandwidth throttling technologies that allow for the software to be transferred in the background without disturbing the user’s other network activities.

According to the complaint filed against IBM on the same date, IBM is the owner of BigFix, Inc., a company that has manufactured and sold software that allows organizations to secure computers by managing and automating security and compliance updates on their computers.  According to the complaint, BigFix’s software facilitates the distribution of client anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall and network access control software.  These software updates are provided using bandwidth throttling technologies that allow for the software to be transferred in the background without disturbing the user’s other network activities.  In addition, the complaint alleges that IBM distributes and sells software for the management of enterprise computer systems called IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager for Software that facilitates the distribution of software over network connections. These software updates are provided using bandwidth throttling technologies that allow for the software to be transferred in the background without disturbing the user’s other network activities. The Provisioning Manager also provides for the sharing of data packages among the enterprises’ client computers.

 U.S. Patent No. 5,913,040 (“‘040 Patent”), was issued on June 15, 1999, to inventors Yuval Rakavy and Eli Barkat.  The complaint states that the ‘040 Patent contains fourteen (14) patent claims covering unique and novel methods and processes for transmitting digital information in background mode over a communications link between a computer network and a local computer and throttling the transfer speed to create minimal interference with other processes communicating over the communications link. The digital information described in the patent could be in a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, news, weather, stock quotes, sports scores, software updates or trip reservation information. The complaint also states that the other two patents are continuation patents that contain twenty-eight (28) patent claims cover unique and novel methods, processes and systems for transmitting digital information in background mode over a communications link between a computer network and a local computer with minimal interference with other processes communicating over the communications link.

Copies of the patents and complaint follow:

US 5913040, US 6317789, US 6539429

BackWeb HP Complaint

BackWeb IBM Complaint

Share
LundbergSteveWebsite
Author:
Principal & Chief Innovation Officer


  Back to All Resources