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From Brian Behlendorf <>
Subject Open Market owns personalization?
Date Tue, 03 Mar 1998 23:10:46 GMT

Go ahead, laugh.

>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0 (32)
>Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 12:46:52 -0800
>From: Chip Hall <>
>Subject: Open Market owns personalization?
>Open Market wins critical patents for e-commerce 
>By Margaret Kane and Jim Kerstetter, ZDNet 
>In an announcement that could send shock waves through the Internet world,
>Open Market Inc. said Tuesday it has
>won patents covering key aspects of electronic commerce. 
>The technologies covered by the patents include online shopping carts,
>session tracking, and real-time credit card
>transactions -- all three used widely by sites conducting online commerce,
>the company believes.
>CEO Gary Eichhorn and other Open Market (OMKT) executives said the company
>would try to get violators to either
>buy its software, or sign licensing agreements to use the technology. 
>Analysts said the patents, if interpreted broadly, could have an enormous
>impact on the industry because the vast
>majority of existing e-commerce applications employ technology that could
>be the intellectual property of Open
>"The best-case scenario would be that the patents are narrowly interpreted
>and they don't create a lot of extra drag on
>the market," said Scott Smith, an analyst at Current Analysis in Sterling,
>Va. "The worst-case scenario would be a
>blanket interpretation that puts an extra drag, an extra tax, on the
>Commerce firms alarmed
>Officials at other e-commerce firms expressed alarm when told of the
>patents and questioned whether Open Market
>planned to enforce them. 
>"That's incredibly broad," said Keith Miller, executive vice president of
>the Internet Billing Co. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 
>The first patent deals with credit card transactions over the Internet.
>Filed in December 1993, the Payment Patent lays
>out the key issues for using credit cards online and authenticating the
>For software to be in violation of the patent, it would have to do three
>things: Conduct real-time authentication of the
>user and merchant; take place over the Internet, and bar someone from doing
>a "replay" of the transaction in order to
>scam the merchant. 
>Is SET covered?
>Much of the specifications for the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol
>shepherded by MasterCard International
>Inc. and Visa International Inc. perform the same tasks for online credit
>card use. SET was finished nearly four years
>after Open Market filed for the patent. 
>The second patent, Network Sales Patent applied for in October 1994, covers
>the electronic "shopping carts"
>metaphor that consumers use when picking out products from a Web site. 
>"The shopping cart claims are very general and very broadly focused," said
>Win Treese, director of security at Open
>While the first two patents deal with technology already in widespread use,
>the third covers the future. The Session
>Identifier Patent, filed in June 1995, makes it possible for a company to
>track Web site visits and usage, and allow
>"one-to-one" marketing -- an increasingly popular feature in e-commerce
>Treese said Open Market intends to enforce the patents. It is focusing its
>attention on software companies profiting
>from the patented technology and other firms that built it on their own but
>are now using it on their Web sites. Open
>Market does not intend to go after Web sites that have bought infringing
>applications from a software company. 
>Won't stifle competition
>Open Market officials maintained they are not seeking to stifle
>competition, or to drive their competitors out of
>business. But that doesn't mean the company, founded at the dawn of the Web
>in 1993, doesn't intend to make money
>off of its intellectual property. 
>"The fact is, we came up with the idea first," said Bob Weinberger, vice
>president of marketing at Open Market.
>However, he said, Open Market doesn't want legal battles and licensing
>issues to stifle the emerging electronic
>commerce field. 
>"We are definitely concerned and conscious about that and we are committed
>to making sure that does not occur," he
>said. "That would not be in our best interest or any one else's." 
>But the possibility of licensing revenues could have a tremendous impact on
>the company, which has yet to turn a
>Weinberger wouldn't say whether the company expects licensing revenues to
>become a major revenue source, but the
>news was well received on Wall Street, where Open Market's stock jumped
>almost 12 percent to $17.50 by midday. 
>The three patents are "further confirmation that our technology is unique
>and innovative," said Eichhorn. It's also a
>sign that it was one of the first on the market, said analysts. 
>_________________________________________Chip Hall__________________
>   Organic  .   Director, Business Development   .   415-278-5520
>	Cell: 415-519-1238
specialization is for insects

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