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View Full Version : Ambiguous text entry?



Phil Barrett
2003-11-19, 11:32
(Forgive me if this has already been discussed and dismissed)

The current Search mechanism for entering text is clumsy compared to
single-key methods commonly used on mobile phones.

I have implemented ambiguous text entry, where the user just enters
74688<right> to find 'shout' (or any other letter sequence with that
mapping to number keys), and I plan to extend this using a dictionary
of the actual words used in artists, albums and songs.

But I am worried that this is technology covered by the T9 patents,
which are heavily protected by AOL/Tegic. (To see the eleven patents in
detail, go to www.uspto.gov and search for Tegic)

What do we think? Is it too risky to include this technique in open
source software?

Disclaimer: IANAL, but I have had dealings with software patents.

Phil

dean
2003-11-19, 22:34
Hey Phil,

That's neat. When you do the entry, does it show just the numbers or
some matching string?


On Nov 19, 2003, at 10:32 AM, Phil Barrett wrote:

> (Forgive me if this has already been discussed and dismissed)
>
> The current Search mechanism for entering text is clumsy compared to
> single-key methods commonly used on mobile phones.
>
> I have implemented ambiguous text entry, where the user just enters
> 74688<right> to find 'shout' (or any other letter sequence with that
> mapping to number keys), and I plan to extend this using a dictionary
> of the actual words used in artists, albums and songs.
>
> But I am worried that this is technology covered by the T9 patents,
> which are heavily protected by AOL/Tegic. (To see the eleven patents
> in detail, go to www.uspto.gov and search for Tegic)
>
> What do we think? Is it too risky to include this technique in open
> source software?
>
> Disclaimer: IANAL, but I have had dealings with software patents.
>
> Phil
>
>

Gregory P. Smith
2003-11-22, 16:54
> But I am worried that this is technology covered by the T9 patents,
> which are heavily protected by AOL/Tegic. (To see the eleven patents in
> detail, go to www.uspto.gov and search for Tegic)
>
> What do we think? Is it too risky to include this technique in open
> source software?

Willful infringement of a patent is supposedly much worse than just
happening to do something that is covered by a patent on your own.
The fact that you have looked at a patent and acknowledged that you
were aware of it prior to violating it makes your legal standing worse.
(law: "you can't do this" you: "oh, i'll do that" VS. *knock* *knock*
law: "hey, you can't do that" you: "oh really? how much to settle and
continue or stop?")

But since the cat is out of the bag by this mention, read 'em in detail
before allowing official software to do it. (a free maintained plugin,
patch that does it should be "ok" if hosted and developed in a country
[is europe still safe?] where the patents don't apply)

implement and distribute first. handle details that happen to come
up in lawsuits later. if you go trying to avoid patents and getting
permission and licenses the whole way from the start you won't even be
able to accomplish anything as useful as hello world within 20 years.

IAANAL
-g