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The first claim of this patent application is:

An electronic content management and delivery platform, the platform comprising:

An ingestion system configured to receive a document;

a publishing system configured to extract document structure metadata based on content from the ingested document, wherein the document structure metadata identify the location and composition of elements of information of the ingested document and are stored connection with the ingested document, the publishing system further configured to format the elements of information from pages of the ingested document into markup language page elements that collectively preserve page fidelity of the document; and

a distribution system configured to deliver, via a network to end-user devices, markup language page elements to construct one or more pages of the document.

This is so generic, it seems to ban any type of document reception and conversion to HTML (a markup language) for purpose of displaying back in a web page.

But plenty of websites do this and I assume that they are all in violation just because they get a document and present it back like the above claim describes.

Is this understanding correct?

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    Can you provide a link or patent number to aid analysis? Also, it's possible that you've quoted an application rather than a granted patent, in which case the claim is not enforceable, and could possibly never be allowed. – rhymes_with_dorange Feb 13 '18 at 1:14
  • @rhymes_with_dorange so yes it's an application, does that mean once patented what I've built now become an infringement then given the fact that the application dates to 2011? – RoninCoder Feb 13 '18 at 1:47
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The document in question is a patent application, not a granted patent. It appears that this application was eventually granted as US Patent 9542538. However, as often happens, the claims changed significantly from the initial application to the actual allowed claims of the granted patent. Acts that fall within the scope of those allowed claims would infringe the patent, whereas acts that only fall within the scope of the initial claims would not.

In general, an applicant can include whatever claims they like in their patent application. However, those claims are then examined, and only claims that are novel and non-obvious will be allowed. Once the claims are in condition for allowance, a patent on those claims can be granted.

  • Just to clarify, from claim one of the patent "...time-based URL referencing the markup language elements...". Does that mean if the URL for the translated markup page was permanent instead of time-based, then it would not be a violation of claim one? – RoninCoder Feb 13 '18 at 4:50
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    From the claim language, it appears that the "time-based URL" must: "establish[] a time of expiry of the markup language elements of the asset, referenc[e] the markup language elements of the asset prior to the time of expiry[,] and not referenc[e] the markup language elements of the asset after the time of expiry". It is possible that the "time-based URL" is further defined in the specification. A URL that does not meet that definition would not infringe that claim. – rhymes_with_dorange Feb 13 '18 at 4:55
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Claim 1 of the granted patent is -

A method for distributing educational electronic documents, the method comprising:

generating markup language page elements and document structure metadata that collectively preserve page fidelity of a document having a plurality of correlated pages, the page fidelity preserved across a plurality of targeted web browsers, the markup language page elements corresponding to elements of information on each correlated page of the document and the document structure metadata identifying locations and composition of the elements of information;

packaging the markup language page elements and the document structure metadata into a plurality of assets for delivery, each asset of the plurality of assets including the markup language page elements and the document structure metadata for a portion of the document; generating for an asset of the plurality of assets, a unique time-based URL referencing the markup language page elements of the asset and establishing a time of expiry of the markup language elements of the asset, the unique time-based URL referencing the markup language elements of the asset prior to the time of expiry and not referencing the markup language elements of the asset after the time of expiry; and

transferring the unique time-based URL of the asset to end-user web applications of authorized users, the end-user web applications executing in the targeted web browsers for using the unique time-based URL to access the markup language page elements and the document structure metadata to reconstruct and display one or more pages of the document with page fidelity to the document.

To infringe a claim one would need to do all of these steps, as specified in the claims wording. Note the preamble - it is a method for distributing educational electronic documents.

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