TheMadScientist - 1:31 am on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
it's not going to come out exactly the same.
Then AFAIK it's not infringement and there's no restriction on you doing it. I haven't looked at the patent in a bit, but at least one of the claims explicitly states the use of a drop down menu. If you go look at the USPTO website and read a bit about patent law, AFAIK to infringe on a patent you have to completely copy one of the claims.
The preceding IMO means NOT doing what FaceBook does could be as simple as NOT algorithmically determining which activities are news, but rather putting a check box and letting your users do it for you, or using a static menu rather than a drop down menu...
I'm surprised CSS designs aren't being copyrighted since it IS copyable and is more original then the news feed.
They are. You have an implicit copyright as soon as you create one, even if you don't file for it officially, but most people don't enforce their right to them... My guess is because they don't know they're being reused.
And, determining which stories (activities) from which friends to show people based on what your system determines to be most the important stories (activities) of your friends and which friends to show you the stories from isn't original?
We might have the same 20 people on our friends list and you might see 'news' from 10 people and I might see 'news' from the other 10 or we might see a mix of the same 'news' and different 'news'.
FaceBook's Patent is not, as far as I can tell, saying, 'We took users activities and turned them into news and we show everyone who is a friend of the person 'making the news' the activity they completed.' What's 'news' varies from user to user possibly even with two different people having the same friends list. So, one person's news (activities) might be displayed to you, while I might have to go read their wall to see what they're been doing even though they're on my friends list too.
I keep saying it's not a basic news feed, but it's like people don't seem to have a clue what the FB news feed actually does... IMO Before people think they've patented making ice, they should at least figure out what the News Feed they got the patent on does, shouldn't they?
Are you saying you'd be perfectly happy if one day a feature on your site was patented by a major company and then they contact you saying "Yeah...this is our idea now. Remove our idea from your site."
I'd laugh... If you're already doing it, and have been doing it or a large number of people are doing it, then AFAIK it's not patentable, because it's not an invention, and if it is patented, then (again AFAIK) the patent is not enforceable. It would be like trying to patent a basic forum now... You can't do it, because it's common knowledge and if you got it through, then AFAIK it would not be enforceable.
I think one of the huge issues people are having is they don't see everything going on within the news feed including how the 'news stories' are determined. You might not be shown every action ('news event') from a friend for every situation, while another person might see every 'news event' from the same common friend... AFAIK No One Else is Doing What FaceBook is to Compile and Deliver the News Feed.
I'm just saying that the patent could lead to more dumb patents and more restrictions on what people can do.
I can see your point if the News Feed wasn't original or if it was on what the person who wrote the article implied: A basic scrolling news feed. But, IMO the reality is the person writing the article did a great job with the headline and the lead-in.
IMO They created an interest and emotion and then worded the article as carefully as a Google Rep speaks and made it sound like one thing when it's really another. The author who got everyone stirred up did a great job as far as 'news' and getting people to read the story goes and he didn't even mis-report, but he did make great use of the word 'if' and some extremes...
Personally, I keep thinking: 'Wow, something on the Internet got patented and it wasn't by Yahoo!, Google or Microsoft... Cool!'
Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney, don't play one on TV, and didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so DYODD.