Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, SYS-CON MEDIA, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Adobe Flex: Article

i-Technology Blog: Death-Knell For "Rich Media? Hardly!

"It's Just a Publicity Stunt" – Nexaweb Founder and RIA Pioneer Coach Wei

When a San Francisco web development company was on February 14 assigned a US patent covering the use of rich-media applications on the Internet, it was always going to be only a matter of time before the self-same Internet exploded with concern and astonishment.

The company in question is Balthaser Online, Inc. of Lafayette, CA, and the patent in question is US 7,000,180 - a patent for "Methods, systems, and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the internet."

The astonishment in question is near-universal. But first let me just back up and recount the facts.

Neil Balthaser, a San Francisco resident, filed his application for this patent on February 9, 2001 (Application No. 9/779,831) as a continuation in part of application No. 09/716460, filed on Nov. 21, 2000, which he abandoned.

The abstract, publicly available at the USPTO, summarizes the patent as follows:

"Rich-media applications are designed and created via the Internet. A host computer system, containing processes for creating rich-media applications, is accessed from a remote user computer system via an Internet connection.

User account information and rich-media component specifications are uploaded via the established Internet connection for a specific user account. Rich-media applications are created, deleted, or modified in a user account via the established Internet connection.

Rich-media components are added to, modified in, or deleted from scenes of a rich-media application based on information contained in user requests.

After creation, the rich-media application is viewed or saved on the host computer system, or downloaded to the user computer system via the established Internet connection. In addition, the host process monitors the available computer and network resources and determines the particular component, scene, and application versions, if multiple versions exist, that most closely match the available resources."

The full application - as one would expect, it is extremely detailed - is here

I asked a series of Rich-Media experts what they make of this United States Patent, starting with the Founder and CTO of Laszlo Systems, David Temkin.

NEXT PAGE: Read the Comments of David Temkin, Laszlo Systems; Coach Wei, Nexaweb; and Jim Phelan, Stream57.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (10) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Website Builder 02/21/08 07:38:11 PM EST

What's the situation with this?

Tom Maszerowski 03/01/06 07:31:50 AM EST

Considering the mass of prior art, they're not likely to end the "web as we know it" anytime soon.

QuoteUnquote 03/01/06 07:27:36 AM EST

[from the Balthaser Online Inc press release]

'This new addition to our patent portfolio is a pioneering patent and provides significant licensing opportunities for both Balthaser and our licensees,' stated Neil Balthaser, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

'The patent covers all rich media technology implementations including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax and XAML and all device footprints which access Rich-Media Internet Applications including desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes and video game consoles. Balthaser will be able to provide licenses for almost any Rich-Media Internet Application across a broad range of devices and networks.'

Dave Williamson 03/01/06 06:51:27 AM EST

It would appear that some of the earliest flash and generator work myself and some of my colleges were involved in back in the earliest days of flash has broken one of the most ludicrous patent awards I have heard of.

Neil Balthaser has been awarded a Patent relating to the online production of RIAs using RIAs over a remote connection.

I find this incredible given the number of flash applications that were around at that time that must have existed to be listed as prior art that would have shown quite obviously that there was not a single original idea, process or product related to the Balthather FX/ProFX site.

In the UK there is the MoonFruit platform for a start that was live before the Pro FX site for a start (here's the link: http://www.moonfruit.com/), not least the fact that Macromedia's own Generator product offered exactly the engine of such automated production online.

So here for your delectation is 'Casper' an application born in 1998/1999 some time originally utilising flash 3/4 and generator and then more recently updated through flash 5 and Flash MX. (Here's the URL: http://casper.bittube.com/)

In the future I fully intend to bring the code base kicking and screaming into Flash AS2/3 and re-introduce the capabilities to 'export' or 'produce' rich media presentations from it.

For those of you who were also around producing this form of 'RIA' back in the day, I highly recommend you dig out and dust off your old FLAs and report those productions over at OSFlash.org as prior art.

Where this patent leaves future development of similar concepts in relation to Flex, server-based MTasc/swfMill AJAX or any other form and or mixture of technology(ies) you can think of remains to be seen.

Boy am I cross.

Mark Evans 03/01/06 06:20:50 AM EST

This either looks like another U.S. Patent & Trade Office fiasco and/or a company setting itself up to be acquired and put out of its misery.

In any event, it - and the patent battle between NTP and RIM - illustrates the USPTO should undergo an extensive review to assess whether the granting of patents is being done in a way that protects the rights of investors while still leaving enough flexibility to encourage innovation.

ClarificationPlease 03/01/06 06:04:46 AM EST

Is it true that the patent covers all rich media technology implementations including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax and XAML?

pyrosx 02/28/06 08:54:12 AM EST

WTF! Hell of a job the US Patent Office is doing. Obviously they are somewhere near the lower end of the american literacy curve. I feel so embarrassed for the patent system right now.

I should patent 'A system of posting free speech online.' and collect royalties from all online publications.

pyrosx 02/28/06 08:54:10 AM EST

WTF! Hell of a job the US Patent Office is doing. Obviously they are somewhere near the lower end of the american literacy curve. I feel so embarrassed for the patent system right now.

I should patent 'A system of posting free speech online.' and collect royalties from all online publications.

queZZtion 02/28/06 08:49:35 AM EST

Is this the same Neil Balthaser that used to be a VP of strategy for Macromedia?

DL Byron 02/28/06 07:57:49 AM EST

Balthaser can yell bingo with the ruling and now will try to win the megalotto by hoping some company would rather license the patent then fight them.

@ThingsExpo Stories
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of patie...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.