I don’t suppose someone knows of any prior art, do they?

CNET News.com –

[Quote] Patent creates IM wrinkle: “America Online quietly secures a patent that could shake up the competitive landscape for instant messaging software.” [Quote]

If AOL ever does decide to go after other IM networks, well – that would not be a good thing.

Would a Unix chat system, or (IRC even?) count as prior art?

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Robert Belknap has been writing online sporadically since 2001. See the colophon for more details.

3 thoughts on “I don’t suppose someone knows of any prior art, do they?”

  1. The patent covers anything resembling a network that lets multiple IM users see when other people are present and then communicate with them.

    who and talk on BSD Unix, circa 1984.

  2. IRC seems to be similar, and significantly older. I don’t use IRC myself, so I don’t know if it matches the description given in the patent. However, after reading the patent, I’m pretty sure that who and talk provided similar functionality as early as 1984. (Or earlier.)

  3. Thanks, terp. Who/Talk was exactly waht I was thinking of, but since I don’t spend much time on systems with talk enabled, I couldn’t remember the command.

    Now the question is do who and talk work over a network. or just on a single machine?

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