Software patents - The Patented Video Shop and The Patented Word Processor

Ca. 957 ord.

In my struggle against European software patents I tried making an example that even normal IT users would understand. During discussions with friends I made a simple illustration of showing tabs (which is patented). People liked the illustration. This got me thinking if it was possible to make an illustration showing a lot of patents in a familiar context, so that people could relate to it.

My first attempt was The Patented Video Shop. My second attempt was The Patented Word Processor.

You can download:

  • 4 pages introduction in Danish (ODT, PDF)

The Patented Video Shop

The idea for the video shop came late 2002. Collecting the actual patents, translating them to understandible language and selecting the ones that was easy to show was very boring work and took most of 2003. The first public mockups were released 7. november 2003.

The release spurred others to make video shops in other languages. Most known is probably http://webshop.ffii.org/[1].

The original video shop had a couple of flaws:

  • The LZW patent (GIF) was expired.
  • The RSA patent was not European, so we could not go out and say that these were all European patents.
  • The resolution of the image was so low that it would not be pretty if blown up to A3 posters (because of aliasing).

My original Danish version

  1. åbent-døgnet-rundt.dk - ÆØÅ i domænenavne: EP1159820
  2. [Drama] [Børn] [Action] [Gyser] - Faneblade: EP689133
  3. Mariehøne er en hyggelig... - Pop-up vindue: EP0537100
  4. Se - Videovisning via web: EP0933892
  5. Hent film - Videovisning via web (samme som ovenfor): EP0933892
  6. mpeg4-format - Udbredt videoformat til download af video: Mere end 40 patenter (herunder DK638218)
  7. Indkøbskurv - Konceptet indkøbskurv: EP0784279
  8. Soundtrack.mp3 og Film - E-handel med serviceydelser: DK/EP738446
  9. Soundtrack.mp3 - MP3 er et udbredt lydformat: DK287578
  10. Betal med kreditkort - Kreditkortbetaling via internettet: EP820620
  11. Send som gave - Beregning af korrekt gaveadresse ud fra mangelfulde oplysninger: EP927945 (revoked 2013-01-13)
  12. Få et lån - Automatisk lån af penge: EP715740
  13. VISA - Digital signatur i grafikfil til at checke at det er godkendt til at modtage VISA-kort: EP0798657
  14. Betal via din internetudbyder - Betaling via et telekommunikationsnetværk: EP0848361
  15. 1-klik - Køb ved hjælp af et klik: US5960411 (Europæisk ansøgning: EP0902381)
  16. https:// - SSL-forbindelser benytter krypterede sockets: US5657390
  17. i browser - Visning i et vindue i en browser: US5838906
  18. Bøger om mariehøns - Link til samarbejdspartner: US6029141
  19. Mariehøne.gif - GIF-filer benytter LZW-komprimering: EP129439
  20. https:// - SSL-forbindelser benytter RSA-kryptering: US4405829

My later translated English version

  1. 10€-video.eu - international characters in domain names: EP1159820
  2. [Action] [Children] [Drama] - Tabs: EP689133
  3. Ladybird is a nice ... - Pop up window: EP0537100
  4. Watch - Video streaming: EP0933892
  5. Download film - Video download (same as previous): EP0933892
  6. mpeg4 format - Widespread video format for download of video: More than 40 patents (including DK638218)
  7. Shopping cart - Electronic shopping cart: EP0784279
  8. Soundtrack.mp3 and Film - E-commerce with services: DK/EP738446
  9. Soundtrack.mp3 - MP3 is a widespread sound format: DK287578
  10. Pay with credit card - Credit card payment via the internet: EP820620
  11. Send as gift - Calculating correct address from incomplete information: EP927945 (revoked 2013-01-13)
  12. Get a loan - Automatic loan: EP715740
  13. VISA - Digital signature in graphic file for checking the shop is authorized to accept VISA cards: EP0798657
  14. Pay via your Internet supplier - Payment via a telecommunication network: EP0848361
  15. 1-click - Buy with one click: US5960411 (European application: EP0902381)
  16. https:// - SSL connections use encrypted sockets: US5657390
  17. in browser - Embedding a window in a browser: US5838906
  18. Books about ladybirds - Link to affiliate: US6029141
  19. Ladybird.gif - GIF files use LZW compression: EP129439
  20. https:// - SSL connections use RSA encryption: US4405829
ODF-file with numbers showing each patent. PDF-file with numbers showing each patent.

The Patented Word Processor

Based on the expierence from the video shop I set out to create another example. This became The Patented Word Processor which was released March 5 2005 at LinuxForum. It has only European patents and the resolution is much higher. A3-posters are not a problem. The layers in the GIMP-file is used actively to show the patent numbers.

The original English version

  1. EP281742: Spell check combined word
  2. EP214547 & EP772144 & EP693740:Anti-aliasing, stemming and hinting
  3. EP665489: Default activate "the right" field in a new window
  4. EP767419&EP349459 Bring to front & redraw hidden part
  5. EP689133: Tabs
  6. EP349459: Activate a window with mouse click
  7. EP348031: Miniature navigator
  8. EP743605: Enlargement of text
  9. EP537100: Tool tips
  10. EP621528: Multi level undo
  11. EP249293: Pop-up menu
  12. EP449322: Formatting text using input character
  13. EP573262: Formatting text with control code in document
  14. EP240909: Word processor with dead keys (e.g. accents and umlaut)
  15. EP394160: Progress bar
  16. EP205082: Justified text using spaces
  17. EP262804: Spell check after each word entered
  18. EP660248: Word Processor
ODF-file with numbers showing each patent.


A special thank goes to Carsten Svaneborg, Hans Schou, Anne Østergaard and Erik Josefsson, who helped by finding patents, discussing issues and giving moral support.


The Patented Video Shop and The Patented Word Processor are released under (CC-By-SA) by Ole Tange http://ole.tange.dk. If you need it under another license feel free to contact me.
Note 1: The FFII had a tremendous success with this - even in Denmark. So even though the original was in Danish some Danes first discovered the FFII-version.

Sidst ændret Tue May 6 17:01:48 2014