Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, SYS-CON MEDIA, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0

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
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...