PersonalWeb and Level 3 Communications have filed patent complaint against Rackspace for hosting GitHub. Update: A commenter notes that PersonalWeb is suing several other tech companies as well, including Yahoo, Facebook and Apple.
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PersonalWeb is the main plaintiff in the case. Level3 and Personal Web purchased several patents from Kinetech and Digital Island in 2000 and each own a 50% undivided interest in the patents.
PersonalWeb develops StudyPods a “social learning platform” that enables students to upload notes and collaborate. Students can upload assignments to StudyPod and the app will search for related notes and documents to help the student with their research. To do this it uses natural language processing, and the company cites many patents that it holds in this area. The PersonalWeb site says the company is also applying these patents to the enterprise. The complaint also lists a PersonalWeb product called Global File Registry, a digital content management system for copyright protection.
Here’s the complaint, via PriorSmart:View this document on Scribd
The patents in question are:
- Data processing system using substantially unique identifiers to identify data items, whereby identical data items.
- Identifying and requesting data in network using identifiers which are based on contents of data
- Enforcement and policing of licensed content using content-based identifiers
- Controlling access to data in a data processing system
- De-duplication of data in a data processing system
- Similarity-based access control of data in a data processing system
- Distributing and accessing data in a data processing system
- Computer file system using content-dependent file identifiers
- Accessing data in a data processing system