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Old 11 December 2007, 17:12   #1
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CDTV formed Microsoft's legal defense

I was googling the net as always, looking for some details about the CDTV's CD mechanism by Matsushita when I came across the company TVI

In 2004, they tried to sue Microsoft, apple and several others over "Autoplay", you know the annoying feature of launching a default application from the disc on insertion.


And Microsoft's defence was that Auto-insertion notification and default applications were Prior-Art and their patent was invalid. The prior art they gave was the Commodore CDTV


But it was dismissed 'cos they concluded that rebooting between discs didnt count.

Interesting paper chain all the same.
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Old 11 December 2007, 17:19   #2
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Old 11 December 2007, 18:50   #3
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Well, well... VERY interesting well at least to me anyhow
I mean what do you class "Prior-Art" surely someone still holds the rights?
Does this mean who ever owns the rights to the CDTV could potentially cash in here?
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Old 11 December 2007, 19:24   #4
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Did you read the articles?

It looks like M$ used the CDTV as an example of prior art in an attempt to dismiss a claim from a patent they had infringed. I am not 100% sure about how the exact legal situation, but AFAIK, when it comes to patents, if an idea is widespread enough, or too obvious, you cannot patent it. If somehow you managed to patent it and it could be proved Prior-Art existed, a defendant can have the claim dismissed. Where I am not 100% on the ownership of said prior-art. I thought that it had to be owned / at one time owned by the defendant. I dont imagine that M$ at one time owned Commodore.

I *think* M$ argued that the CDTV had been out years and years before TVi's patent and thus so was the idea of an "AutoRun" CD feature, it was therefore obvious. But I don't know cos I never found M$ parts of the legal documents pertaining to this case.

However in the end M$ were defeated because the CDTV autoboot functionality was deemed (in the courts eyes) not close enough to the "Autorun" patent that TVi registered.

Unless Commodore took out a patent (which I dont think they did) in the same area, there is no money for anyone other than TVi (with whom M$ settled out of court for an undisclosed sum).

Shame, cos I am sure that with the right lawyers and tech-historians the TVi patent could have been blown out of the water.

The same goes for the Immersion patent on haptics (force feedback), I cannot believe M$ & Sony settled with them over that one. I've got a BBC model b joystick with rumble, and lots of 1980's arcade machines with rumble.

Last edited by alexh; 11 December 2007 at 19:39.
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