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Oracle is trying to patent away CallbackFS, FUSE etc

Posted: 07/03/2011 07:25:04
by Sune Ahlgren (Basic support level)
Joined: 07/03/2011
Posts: 1


Have you guys seen the continuation of Oracle's patent 7418435? Patent 7418435 can be found here:

The continuation, which is still just in the application state,can be found here:

What differs is the most important part, the claims:
First revision (already issued patent):
Claim #1 only refers to OS file systems which means (according to my layman interpretation) that people who buy your CallbackFS do not infringe on it since they implement their own file system FUSE style, ie in user space.

The continuation, ie the patent application re-phrases this in claims #1 and #2 to 'a file system API' more or less, which means that customers of yours, may later be held liable for intrusion they have already made; in the case they patent is let through.

The only reason for making this re-phrase, if you ask me, is that they realized there was a giant loop hole in their patent given the user space file systems you and FUSE and a lot more had begun implementing.

So to the interesting part. The date the continuation was filed is:
Application number: 12/122,517
Publication number: US 2008/0215528 A1
Filing date: May 16, 2008

Whereas a discussion on this very forum way back in 2007 already discusses user space file systems seamlessly connected to databases. Here:

What's your take on this bogus continuation? I say make a lot of noice...

Posted: 07/03/2011 07:55:34
by Eugene Mayevski (Team)

Thank you for information. We were not aware of this issue. We will pass this information to our patent lawyer immediately.

Sincerely yours
Eugene Mayevski
Posted: 07/03/2011 08:53:55
by Eugene Mayevski (Team)

Brief analysis of both patents made by me says that even the existing patent is probably applicable to any existing implementation that involves a DBMS as a backend. In this aspect the new application doesn't add anything significant and just clarifies certain statements and claims.

In any case FUSE or CBFS or similar solutions are not the primary target of the new application. Consider the drawings (FIG.3 and FIG.4): they were copied from the original patent without changes, and if user-mode file systems were the target, those drawings would have to be changed.

But this doesn't make the situation better. In fact, there was one more patent applications by the same applicant, with similar text. I am wondering how it happened that USPTO didn't check the duplicates.

I'll be waiting for lawyer's comment.

Sincerely yours
Eugene Mayevski



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