[Asterisk-Dev] Re:Patent lawyers?

Mike M no-linux-support at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 8 05:00:13 MST 2005

On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 11:58:45PM -0500, Steven wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-06-07 at 19:21 -0400, Mike M wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 03:49:00PM -0700, David Pollak wrote:
> > > Folks,
> > > 
> > > Black and White Software was selling software that monitored a fax modem 
> > > on NeXT computers and forwarded incoming faxes to e-mail addresses back 
> > > in 1992.  If you need more information, I can dig up advertisements for 
> > > the product from NeXTWorld magazine.  I used the product (and know other 
> > > who did as well.)  It seems to be prior art to the fax via e-mail patents.
> > 
> > Read the patents carefully because the thing you describe above is for a
> > computer and not a national network.  It is these minor modifications
> > that get patented.  If you think of a major idea and some else improves
> > it in a minor way and patents the improvement, guess what?, you can't use the
> > improvement without the patent holder's permission.  That'll chap you,
> > won't it?
> Maybe I'm missing something, but David said the software emailed the
> faxes. If so, they had national networks in '92 and email worked over
> them. 
> It would have been just like using spandsp and any email app to get the
> message out. It is exactly the same thing.

Found these:

NXFax v1.04, fax/data software
  Monitors serial ports and transparently switches between data and fax.
    Supports both NeXTstep for Motorola and Intel
    Black and White Software
    Bridge Street Marketplace
    Waitsfield, VT 05673-1210
    Time:   Eastern Standard Time
    Voice:    (802) 496-8500
    Fax:      (802) 496-5112
    E-Mail:   Linda Rosen (nxfax at bandw.com)
    Cost:     US$135

This product controls a fax machine attached directly to a computer over
a serial port.  I suspect the patents are for network central fax servers 
that are getting fax feeds from the telephone network instead of individual 
fax machines connected by serial ports.  Prior art for a j2-like service 
would be more convincing.


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