Google, Apple, Microsoft Sued Over Patent For Thumbnail Icons

via Techdirt by Michael Masnick on 12/29/08

As a bit of a non-Christmas gift, it appears that a patent holder, using the infamous Niro Scavone law firm (to whom the name "Patent Troll" was first applied) has sued Google, Apple and Microsoft over a patent that the patent holder appears to believe covers any sort of thumbnail image that shows some of the actual file. You can read the full patent for a system and method for iconic software environment management and then ponder what is allowed to pass as a legitimate patent these days. The patent was first filed in 2001, but the priority date appears to be 1998. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to find anything in the patent that wouldn't have been considered a natural progression in 1998 (or well before that). Nothing like ending the year with yet another ridiculous patent lawsuit.

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by Ben Pike