EFF's Patent Busting Project, continues to march forward, this time with more good news about the petition that EFF, in conjunction with Paul Grewal and James Czaja of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder, filed last April seeking reexamination of the NeoMedia bar-code lookup patent. We're happy to report that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently rejected all ninety-five claims [5.3 MB PDF] of the patent.
The PTO agreed to take another look at the patent last October after EFF filed a petition for ex parte reexamination that called to the PTO's attention a wealth of prior art that the PTO had not previously considered and that showed that the NeoMedia patent claims were not novel. After consideration of the prior art EFF submitted, the PTO found that none of the ninety-five claims in the NeoMedia patent should have been allowed.
Now that the PTO has agreed with us that the patent claims weren't novel, NeoMedia is in the difficult position of trying to explain what was so inventive about its ideas, in light of the prior art that EFF highlighted. Alternatively, NeoMedia can try to amend its claims to narrow them, and argue that the narrower claims were non-obvious, even if the original claims weren't.
(By the way, the PTO's rejection is merely the latest bad news for the NeoMedia patent. After the PTO agreed to reexamine the patent, NeoMedia agreed to put on hold its pending litigation against Scanbuy [PDF], in which NeoMedia is alleging of infringement of the bar-code lookup patent, as well as another patent.)