The Patent Busting Project fights back against bogus patents by filing requests for reexamination against the worst offenders. We've successfully pushed the Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine five of the ten patents on our Most Wanted list. We're proud to have tackled half of the list, but now we need your help to bust another.
A company called Seer Systems has a patent on a system for joining different musical data types together in a file, distributing them over the internet, and then playing that file.
We are especially interested in prior art relating to downloading and playing parts of "musical work files" in real time. One such example might be a system for streaming media files by taking the file one piece at a time and downloading the necessary sound files and musical data for that part before playing it and moving on to another section.
The Seer Systems patent was filed on July 11, 1997. We need to show that information on how to make the system described in the patent was publicly available before that date. Prior art can be in the form of a published patent, a printed publication (such as a web page, newsgroup post, public presentation, magazine article, or technical paper), a product manual, or literature related to a product or its sale. Publicly available software that was distributed before the filing date and that demonstrated the functionalities described in the patent may also be used as prior art.
We anticipate that a lot of useful prior art will lie in the area of digital music sequencing software and systems, whether for music composition or playback.