Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nokia v. Apple: Take Me to the (Palm)Pilot

Three of the seven patents at issue in the newly filed D.Del. and ITC cases relate to database synchronization, particularly contact sync for personal information managers (PIMs).  The patents trace back to Puma Technology in the mid 1990s. Puma created Intellisync for the then US Robotics PalmPilot, prior to the 3Com acquisition and the later spin-out of Palm Inc.

Claim 2 of the asserted '911 patent seems quite broad.  It specifies that PIM records are selected based upon a filter comprising user-selectable conditions or fields that must match, and the subset of records is synchronized with a second database.

I would not be surprised to see reexamination requests for these patents in the near future.

 

Bibliographic information and a select claim from each of the three patents follows:

 

7,209,911 (continuation of '529, which is a continuation of '664)

Synchronization of databases using filters

Inventors: Boothby; David J. (Nashua, NH), Morgan; David W. (Derry, NH)
Assignee: Intellisync Corporation (San Jose, CA) 
Appl. No.: 09/776,452
Filed: February 2, 2001

2. A computer implemented method of synchronizing at least a first and a second personal information management database of the type having a plurality of records, wherein the records of the first and second personal information management databases include fields, the method comprising:

  • using a filter to select a plurality of records of the first database, 
    • the filter comprising one or more user selectable conditions or criteria that fields of records of the first database must match or fit to be selected, and
    • selecting the plurality of records of the first database includes evaluating fields of the first database with the user selectable conditions or criteria, and
  • synchronizing the selected records of the first database with records of the second database, 
    • the synchronizing comprising adding, modifying, or deleting records, whereby synchronization is performed for a subset of the records of the databases.

(claim 1 seems to differ in specifying "user-definable criteria" instead of "user selectable criteria.")

 

6,212,529 (continuation of '664)

Synchronization of databases using filters

Inventors: Boothby; David J. (Nashua, NH), Morgan; David W. (Derry, NH), Marien; John R. (Nashua, NH)
Assignee: Puma Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) 
Appl. No.: 09/036,400
Filed: March 5, 1998

1. A computer implemented method of synchronizing at least a first and a second personal information management database wherein the records of at least the first database include a text field, the method comprising:

  • using a filter to select a plurality of records of the first database, 
    • the filter comprising one or more user definable conditions or criteria that a record must match or fit to be selected, 
      • wherein the conditions or criteria include a user definable text criterion, and selecting the plurality records of the first database includes comparing the text field with the text criterion; and
  • synchronizing the selected records of the first database with records of the second database, 
    • the synchronizing comprising adding, modifying, or deleting records,
  • whereby synchronization is performed for a subset of the records of the databases.

 

6,141,664

Synchronization of databases with date range

Inventors: Boothby; David J. (Nashua, NH)
Assignee: Puma Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) 
Appl. No.: 08/748,645
Filed: November 13, 1996

1. A computer implemented method of synchronizing at least a first and a second database each containing dated records such as events, wherein the records of the first database extend across a narrow date range narrower than the date range of the records of the second database, the method comprising:

  • performing a prior synchronization across a prior date range set using the date of the prior synchronization and the narrow date range;
  • storing the prior date range and a history file containing information representative of the content of the databases following the prior synchronization;
  • performing a current synchronization across a date range that combines the prior date range with a current date range set using the date of the current synchronization and the narrow date range.

 

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