Interesting legal case, as [url=http://www.sbc.com]SBC[/url] (we should DOS them) claims that they have the [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/28985.html]patent rights[/url] to any frame or menu based navigational system. Appearantly, they are requesting [url=http://www2.museumtour.com/sbc.html]royalty fees of 2%[/url] of total revenue of any site that uses such navigation methods.
Not happy with the street smarts of their legal counsel. When will they learn?
SCO aparently has something similar starting up in the OS area. Maybe all of this foolishness will just end up showing the USPTO and the courts how dangerous and silly software patents can be.
The thing that will hopefuy save us (aka the entire software industry) from this kind of attack is stated at the end of the article:
Support for the HTML Frames method, which SBC’s letter to MuseumTour alludes to as a way to build the persistent user interfaces SBC says it owns, was introduced in the first beta release of the old Netscape Navigator 2.0 browser, which became available to developers in October 1995.
Their pattents were applied for in ’99 and ’96.