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Thursday, September 2, 2010

I was a little worried...

... about coming up with some pertinent posting material but, low and behold, HP and R.R. Donnelley have come to the rescue. 

There is a new story here about two of my oldest and dearest friends: US Patent's 6,205,452 and 6,327,599. 

These are usually referred to collectively as the "Warmus Patents" after James L. Warmus who is the principle author to both.  Basically these patents describe modern digital-press-based template variable data printing.  What's important about these patents are two things:  First, I believe it is claimed by the owner that they "cover" the concept of designing and printing variable data documents - so if you're a company selling a device that can perform that type of printing you're a target.  Second, the patents go back in time to before "modern VDP" - 599 is dated June 1995, 452 is dated October of 1997.

From 452:

Basically this describes a database controlling selected print elements such as graphics on a printed page, a means to design the document containing those elements, and the processing of merging the two.

From 599:

This describes a "press controller" for merging the types of elements defined in 452 using a "master page" with fixed information and a process to insert the variable information into the master page.

Now the "modern era" of VDP does not start until about 2000 or 2001 and all modern digital presses in use today have controllers that match 599 - so you can see why there might be a problem.

In the past I have done extensive professional legal research related to these patents for my self as well as for clients.

And, just for the record, in my opinion both are invalid and I believe that I have solid proof - so, council to HP, if you are out there let me know - I can save you a lot of time, money and grief.

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