Pre-Grant Publication Number: 20070135944
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Discussion (51)
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14
Thad McIlroy (over 2 years ago)
Claim #1 is surely the basis of all modern CIM systems. A recent example is to be found at http://www.cip4.org/documents/jdf_specifications/JDF1.3.pdf, describing the JMF subset of the JDF format specification, now being widely implemented in print manufacturing. "JMF provides the means for production components of a JDF workflow to communicate with system controllers and administrative components. It relays information about the progress of JDF jobs and gives MIS the active ability to query devices about the status of processes being executed or getting ready to be executed."
13
Kerwin Dunsmore (over 2 years ago)
Energy Management Systems Div. of Control Data Corp. built many systems for electrical utilities in the 1970s. The processing was distributed across approx. seven processors, one of which I worked on as a utility company employee. Their system included a "man-machine interface" which allowed users to define database objects containing both real-time and calculated attributes. Real-time attributes included such things as open/closed (for circuit breakers, etc.), analog value, alarm and warning limits, operating deadbands (for closed-loop control), scan rate, and tag/clearance status.

The display-creation part of the man/machine coached users to create both static elements (e.g. substation busses, cables, etc.) and "dynamic" links to the database which would show some or all of the above attributes for the database entry linked. When activated, the display would show the current scanned and calculated values of all the points linked on the display in the context drawing (static "mask") of the controlled site. The display also would contain linkages to other displays which might provide further detail of the substation or might bring up a display of the next substation on the same transmission line.

I believe that EMSD was bought by Siemens/Empros in the early 1990's.
12
Rick Mc Leod (over 2 years ago)
Hello all,

Based on my initial review of the claims and discussion, I participated in building such a system for NASA in 1989. It was called the Partial Payload Checout Unit, the first implementation of the Generic Check System.

Architecture:
SGI workstations as clients to display the sensor data
HP servers to house the primary data processing and archiving
Custom built data acquisition modules (generally single board VME unix cards).
TCP/IP connectivity. Clients housed in different buildings at KSC.
Each client could display the very near real time value of any sensor in the orbiter or a payload. The display screen of each client was built using a template that specified the sensor data, display time (digital, bar graph, dial, etc.), units of display, color (e.g., red for critical values, etc.).

In 1997, the group left McDonnel Douglas and formed: CCT.
http://www.cctcorp.com/AboutCct.htm
http://www.cctcorp.com/gde.htm

Pete Simons gave public presentations about the system at aeronautic conference at least as early as 1990.
Rick Mc Leod (over 2 years ago)
Update: I've managed to source a number of the CCTK manuals actually published prior to the critical date. I'm going to upload these this weekend and start mapping against the individual claims as time allows. (Unfortunately, July was very busy for me.)
11
Jim Millan (over 2 years ago)
Seems to me that this patent is trying to "blanket" a whole bunch of things related to process control, by attempting to cover all aspects: including data acquisition and display..its very broad. It will be fairly hard to find a single example of prior art that covers all of these. Plus, I think they have thrown in a couple of things to make this seem different than everything that has been done for the past 20+ years in the process control industry: 1) "future data" (i.e. prediction), and 2) specific GUI interface elements(e.g. control tree sturcture).

It may be possible to shoot down (1) if someone knows of a commercial MPC (model predictive control) software that does this? Most of the other claims can be shot down by various software packages for data acquisition and display, such as DaqView, DasyLab, VxWorks, LabView etc. This is what they do: collect info from sensors and display it.

The idea of grouping data acquisition sources by type and acquiring historical data, real time data etc. has been covered many times before. I'm not in the process control area, but I think the OPC (Open process control) communications API seems to cover many aspects of this patent. Therefore, applications built on OPC will cover many of the remaining claims.
www.opcfoundation.org
www.matriconopc.com
Anybody familiar with OPC out there?
10
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
Reading this I don't see how it an improvement over existing packages like Labview (http://www.ni.com/labview/) or even Visual Basic.

For example
If you use a Galil Motion Controller (http://www.galilmc.com) that interfaces through a lan link. You use the libraries to select and download data from the galil which has at least 16 I/O points. You use visual basic and the galil OCX to select and display a particular set I/O points.

The patent appears to be nothing new and is definitely obvious.
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
How does the system you suggest accomplish all of the tasks of the claimed invention. I do not see where in the sale website you give that there is the collection of a block of information, stored in a central location and displayed in combination with other data that is relevent to this application.

Please let us know what claims you are discussing.
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
By connecting through a variety of protocols Labview connects to a device. These can include I/O card on the same card or gathered from other devices through TCP/IP. Labview is a general purpose tool designed to collect data from just about any source imaginable. However it provides specific drivers for commonly used data gathering and acquisition devices which is why people use LabView over C++ and Visual Basic. I will find a document explaining the hardware setup and see if that helps you.



Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
Claim 1
The Galil 1425 controller at
http://www.galilmc.com/products/econo/dmc1425.html
http://www.galilmc.com/products/software/softwaretools.html#activextoolkit

It runs on a TCP/IP network. You can have one or more Galil Controllers strung on the Ethernet network. Each have at least 8 bits of Digital Inputs and 8 bit of Digital Output along with an option for some Analog Inputs. So this is where the information.

Galil also sells, for lab view and visual basic, a tookit designed to get that information and give it meaning. http://www.galilmc.com/images/products/software/lvdiag1.gif and http://www.galilmc.com/images/products/software/lvfront1.gif

for Visual Basic http://www.galilmc.com/products/software/vbexam.html

Now with the Galil ActiveX control You use the property mechanism designed in the ActiveX control to give it a name and control how it is displaying on the GUI.

----------------------------------------
a block object for accepting input data descriptive of the at least one process
-------------------------------------------
That the activeX control for Galil

--------------------
and for grouping as a block at least one variable of the input data with at least one attribute for the variable
-------------------
The Galil activeX control can be grouped via other controls in Visual Basic or Labview. All ActiveX controls have a NAME attribute and in the Galil ActiveX controls case has a DMCCommand property that indicates what variable (or variables) you trying to grab.

-------------------------
a display client for reading the block and producing output to display the summary for the at least one process.
------------------------
When you RUN or COMPILE the labview or visual basic program it creates the display client.

Claim 2

--------------------------------
The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the input data comprises at least one of historic data, predictive data, improved data, calculated data, derived data, reference data, real-time data, approximately real-time data, data collected by system sensors, operational data, manual input data and projected data.
---------------------------------
http://www.galilmc.com/products/econo/dmc1425.html

The user manual and command reference tells how the galil stores the above information as it relates to motion control positions. Specifically the Galil has the ability to store a series of coordinates from a trace eye application. This can be retrieved by the Galil ActiveX control and displayed by Labview/Visual Basic.

Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
Claim 3
-------------------------------------------
The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the at least one attribute comprises at least one of a member name, a display name, a type, a display changeable status and a visibility option.
--------------------------------------------
The DMC Poll ActiveX Control has a NAME property = member name, CAPTION property = a display name, DMCFORMAT = a type, DMCDATARECORDITEM = display changable status, DMCCommand which can access a specific galil variable, DMCController which access a specific galil device, VISIBLE property = visibility option

DMCScope also has items that perform many of the same function like DMCDATATYPE, CAPTION, etc.

Claim 4
--------------------
The apparatus as in Claim 3, wherein the type comprises a type for indicating one of an actual value, a set-point, an estimated value, an upper bounds and a lower bounds.
---------------------

I don't have a specific example of this. All I can say that you are feeding data into a general purpose programing tool like Visual Basic or Labview that those feature come with the territory. It is obvious in short. For example I can have the DMCPoll going on my Visual Basic form and have a timer control going that check the value and have it pop up a warning if it exceeds a certain value.

Claim 5
----------------------------
The apparatus as in Claim 3, wherein the type comprises a type for initiating one of an optimization estimation, a flagging for multi-variable control, and a flagging for viewing.
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Claim 6
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The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the block further comprises information of at least one of a rule result, a predictor result, and an estimation result.
---------------------------
Claim 7
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The apparatus as in Claim 6, wherein the information comprises information descriptive of at least one of engineering principles, probability assessments, weighting factors, physical properties, system dynamics and prior system performance.

Like Claim 4, these claims comes obviously with the use of a general purpose tool. For example my own CAD/CAM software at (http://www.plasma-automation.com) collects calibration information to find out how many steps per inch the machine travels and where the initial zero location is at. I am taking the incoming data, tagging it and sending it other part of my software to be used. I can do this because visual basic has all the feature built in to do this when used in conjuction with the Galil Active X controls, and the Galil Motion Controller.

Claim 8
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The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the system comprises one of an industrial system, a power plant and a medical setting.
-----------------------
I don't have experience with anything in a medical setting. But does taking a system that works say in HVAC metal cutting or building automation control or scientific data acquisition and applying it do a medical application make it patentable?
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
Claim 9
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The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the block object comprises a user interface for selecting the at least one variable and the at least one attribute.
---------------------------------
Done In DMC Diagnostic ActiveX control

Claim 10
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The apparatus as in Claim 9, wherein the user interface comprises at least one of a graphical user interface (GUI), a control tree structure and a tag listing.
-------------------------------
A control tree structure I can't say any of the software I know about does this quite the same way. I know that database ODBC drivers connect to database use a control tree structure to select among different table and field. And while I don't have a specific cite I know there are servers generating real time data stuffing it into a database and then a vb front end connects through ODBC to retrieve the data. A field in a database has many of the attriubte describe for variable in this patent.

Claim 11
---------------------
The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the display client comprises a context menu for customizing the appearance of the output.
----------------------
Visual Basic and Labview both do this.


Claim 12
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The apparatus as in Claim 1, comprising at least one of a computer system, a network, at least one sensor, a server, a display system and a remote access.
--------------------

The Galil Motion Controller is a computer running a TCP/IP stack that responds to external request the two essential attributes of a "server". The sensor would hook up to one of the Galil I/O ports.

Claim 13
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The apparatus as in Claim 1, wherein the apparatus is an enhancement to an existing system.
-----------------------
I can rip out a competitors or one of our older system and stuff a new Galil MC control with all the connection in its place.

Claim 14
-----------------------
A method for providing a summary for at least one process of a system, the method comprising:
selecting a block comprising at least one variable descriptive of the process with at least one attribute for the variable;
using a display client, reading the block to produce output; and,
displaying the output as the summary for the at least one process.
------------------------------------------
Not sure how what different about this versus Claim 1. I guess the selection of the block of information is what key. If you look at the Galil list of ActiveX controls you will see they focus on different information coming from the Galil Motion controller. There are some overlap but differences as well. I select this by bring up a palette and dropping the control I want to use onto my form. I can switch between different Galil Devices by selecting from the dropdown list in the properties dialog using DMCCommand.
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
Claim 15
----------------
The method as in Claim 14, further comprising creating the block by using a block object to select the at least one variable and the at least one attribute.

I am little fuzzy on this but DMC diagnostics and DMC Poll both allow some like this.
--------------------
Claim 16
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The method as in Claim 14, wherein providing comprises at least one of a continuous basis, about a real-time basis, a periodic basis and a frequent basis.

DMC Poll does all three methods.

-------------------
Claim 17
----------------
The method as in Claim 14, wherein displaying comprises using at least one of a bar graph, a trend plot, a histogram, a pie chart, a line graph, a scatter graph, a performance plot and a pareto plot.
-------------------
See DMC Scope

Claim 18
-----------------
e method as in Claim 18, wherein the displaying further comprises accepting a user input for modifying properties of the display.
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When you drop a control onto Labview or Visual Basic you get a property dialog allowing you to modify how the control looks.

Claim 20
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An apparatus for providing a summary for at least one process of a system, the apparatus comprising:
means for accepting input data descriptive of the at least one process and for grouping as a block at least one variable of the input data with at least one attribute for the variable; and display means for reading the block and producing output to display the summary for the at least one process.
------------------------------------------
I am not sure what is new here

Bob Turner (over 2 years ago)
Re Claim 6 , it claims a predictor yet the description does not describe how a person skilled in the art can construct a predictor. I think this is in the start trek transporter category, if these people have a genuine predictor then why haven't they fed stock exchange data into it already?
Someone out there has bound to have written stock exchange portfolio overview software that shows the portfolio as a control tree and then graphical data for each stock?
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
it claims the result of a predictor is stored. Presumably the result is created by a running predictor algorithm elsewhere. Since in one claim they talk about this applying to a medical device my guess is as they are gathering data, they do a curve fit or some other mathematical technique to show the future shape of the curve.

The problem I see it that this claim is already done by existing software like Visual Basic and Labview. I know the primary purpose of this place to find prior art. But I have to point out that a lot of the claims here are obvious and it is just combining existing components that already do what described with adding anything new other than the specific combination.

Visual BASIC's ODBC interface uses a control tree to pick from different data field with various attributes. Galil ActiveX Control have a rich communication with a computer that collects data and does processing. The labview market is very large and diverse. And so on.



Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
Great summary! Though I have not had the opportunity actually review your summary against the claims.

My next question is, when were these systems available. I know LABVIEW has been around for some time. Has the Galil controlers been around as well?

Do you have and can you upload the relevant protions of any documentation to support your summary? Remember, the documents should be older then 2005.
Robert Conley (over 2 years ago)
I have the relevent links posted. Unfortunally Galil doesn't keep older version around like labview. I will see if I have any on my hard drive. I been using their software since 1995, Here their company history

http://www.galilmc.com/about/index.html

note

In 2002, Galil introduced the DMC-21x3 Ethernet Controller n' Drives which provides high-performance in a small, low-cost package and eliminates the

And the interface are the controls I been referring too.

Rob Conley

Beth Noveck (over 2 years ago)
Hi, I want to encourage you to edit your posting with claims in double brackets (see instructions at the top of the page) so that the thread is then searchable by claim. This will also help people start to convert discussion into submissions of prior art. Thanks! Beth Noveck
Bob Turner (over 2 years ago)
OK I've looked at the figures and read the description, the GUI is a ripoff of LABVIEW and similar e.g. Matlab , Dasyview . The control tree has been used in CAD applications for decades.
Our task is to find prior art, I suggest looking in the <examples> sections of LABVIEW or MATLAB.
9
Richard Kairis (over 2 years ago)
This sounds exactly like so many systems management solutions already available in the computer industry. I've see solutions like this based on the common information model from the Distributed Management Task Force for a variety of devices. This model is readliy extensible and could be used to manage any type of device and show selected informaton on a daskboard.
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
Please, supply a example of a commercially available system and how it accomplishes all of the tasks outlined in the claims. Unless such a system is shown, we have accomplished nothing here.
Jaron Omega (over 2 years ago)
Forgive me, this is my first post.

My question to you Mr. Kelleher, is what is your definition for 'commercially'? Knowing you are a legal professional, I assume it's use is very specific, and 'commerce' has quite a few definitions even in laymen speak (www.m-w.com).

Reason why I'm asking is, if 'commercially' you mean, "for sale", then are you suggesting that if an invention was never sold, yet can be shown to have existed, that then it's not sufficient for a 'prior art' claim? If so, (since this appears to be a software related patent claim), what of such technologies found in Open Source where it's clear there's little to no financial gain? Linux or FreeBSD can not be used in any case as an example of "prior art" for any claim?
Mark Nowotarski (over 2 years ago)
Jaron,

You might want to take a look at the prior art tutorial http://www.peertopatent.org/main/education#prior_art

In brief, whether or not an prior invention was ever put into "commercial" use has nothing to do with whether or not it qualifies as prior art. What counts is whether or not there was enough public disclosure of the invention prior to the earliest filing date of the patent application, so that a person of ordinary skill in the art could have made and used the invention without undue experimentation.

Open soure counts as prior art in the sense that the source code was posted publicly on the Internet. You have to have evidence, however, of WHEN it was posted. To be on the safe side, you should look for public disclosure that is more than one year before the earliest filing date of an application. Otherwise, an applicant might be able to "swear back" of a reference. Swear back means that they conceived of the invention before the prior art and worked diligently to reduce it to practice before filing the application. You can only swear back for one year.

Does this help?
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
I did insert the term, commercial. However, it was more for the point that many comments have been, this application is exactly like so many systems available. Thus, I was implying these commercial systems should be disussed.

While I agree with Mark, we should be looking to what this system is capable of, the point of the peer to patent concept is to bring to light prior art that the USPTO would otherwise not have. Thus, comments about other applications or patents are good, but prior art in the form of journal articles, trade seminars, speeches, and commercially available but not patented art is much better. The USPTO has great algorithims and alot of training on searching the patent stacks, that we can not hope to compete.

However, the application noted below, [[20040015619]], looks to be very relevant. I have uploaded into the prior art section, even though it was not my discovery.
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
I did insert the term, commercial. However, it was more for the point that many comments have been, this application is exactly like so many systems available. Thus, I was implying these commercial systems should be disussed.

While I agree with Mark, we should be looking to what this system is capable of, the point of the peer to patent concept is to bring to light prior art that the USPTO would otherwise not have. Thus, comments about other applications or patents are good, but prior art in the form of journal articles, trade seminars, speeches, and commercially available but not patented art. The USPTO has great algorithims and alot of training on searching the patent stacks, that we can not hope to compete.

William Sappington (over 2 years ago)
Novell NetWare, dating back about 20 years. Specifically:
Monitor.nlm provides:
1. Visual Display of various attributes of the file server in real time.
2. Novell RSM ( Remote Server Manager & Diagnotics ) Provides real time information about all processes on the system as well as memory configuration, loaded modules, connections, TCP/IP socket information, real time graphs of TCP/IP traffic, Memory useage, CPU Load ( up to 32 CPU's per machine ) and up to 32, 32 way servers in a cluster.
There is SO much prior art that this patent claim is utterly invalid and without merit.
8
Mark Nowotarski (over 2 years ago)
Something appears to have been lost in the translation when this application was written. It’s a GE patent and the inventors are experienced, but I don’t see anything new or useful described here. The applicants spent so much time making their description as generic as possible, they failed to provide a really clear, detailed example of what their invention actually is.

They might want to file a CIP and get into the nuts and bolts of the invention. What were some of the tough problems they
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
Fortunately, this is not the point of this site. This site is not whether the invention should be patented or makes full disclosure, but rather to provide prior art relevent to the claimed invention. The claimed invention may be any one, or combination of, the independant or dependant claims.

Thus, unless one or a combination of the references depicts every element of every claim in the application the application is novel. This is the focus of supplying prior art to the USPTO. So the USPTO
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
may make the legal determinations you have provided.
Mark Nowotarski (over 2 years ago)
Sean,

I completely agree with everything you said, and will be submitting a single piece of prior art to 102 all of the claims shortly.

But never the less, don’t be too constrained by the “purpose” of this site. This is a grand experiment. Let’s try some things out and see if it has utility beyond merely being a spoiler for overly broad patents. Perhaps collectively we can find a new way to use this forum to create positive value for all of the stakeholders (e.g. inventors, public, USPT
Mark Nowotarski (over 2 years ago)
Hey, somone needs to work on the word count algorithm. Word said I only had 90 words and it still cut off.
7
Richard Muirhead (over 2 years ago)
I would suggest that disclosure 20040015619 be reviewed and unique distinction made. Prior art already exists on this and the CEBus technologies for home automation
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
Interesting reference. I was not able to spend a lot of time reviewing it. Can you upload it and suggest which claims are relevant. Just remember an apparatus is different from a method. However, an apparatus may be obvious from a method, or the other way around.
6
Brian O'Byrne (over 2 years ago)
X10 protocol defines home automation communications and processes. Products have been built on that protocol since the 70's. I'm going to look for products that include a display of the state of devices around the home automation network. If such a product exists it is surely an obvious step from there to displaying similar information in an industrial environment.
If anyone is familiar with the protocol or related products, can you post here?
Brian O'Byrne (over 2 years ago)
This looks like a promising area of research for prior art, assuming I am right in thinking claim 8 can be dismissed as non-inventive. (any legal experts want to voice an opinion on that?). For example the CHAD home automation product (http://www.improvingtomorrow.com/) seems to cover all claims except. 6, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19. I'm sure a little more digging can come up with an example that covers more of the claims in this application. One caveat: the manual I read was updated in April 2006, so the
Michael Brown (over 2 years ago)
Heathkit (then owned by Zenith) sold a computer-based control system for X10 in the 80's.
Automated Environments, Inc. of Ithaca, New York, had a control system for greenhouses and chicken barns on sale at least as early as 1980 which used a network to control fans and vents and display temperatures, etc. They're still in business: http://www.automatedenvironments.com/products/Integra/index.shtml
5
hj s (over 2 years ago)
Landmark, acquired by Halliburton in 1996 have been making equipment and software for well and reservoir management for more than 20 years. These guys have been doing everything that this patent seems to claim for a long time already. Seems to me that Exploration and Production (oil industry) are industrial processes.

OpenWells: http://www.halliburton.com/ps/Default.aspx?navid=217&pageid=850&prodid=MSEaa1055450516810568

Landmark: http://www.lgc.com
4
Steven Schlimgen (over 2 years ago)
"Process" here is any industrial/manufacturing/control process The second paragraph makes that clear. The software accesses a process control system as Fig 1 shows. It stores and manipulates variables, and displays them in graphical form for the operator.

This is called a Human-Machine Interface, and that's where we need to look for prior art.

In '03, I used software called "OptoDisplay" (now called PACDisplay) which does essentially what this patent application covers. I'l
Jeffrey Payne (over 2 years ago)
This is dead on - the patent appears to be for a specific layout / configuration of HMI elements. While there are numerous HMI packages (Wonderware is another) I don't know if the existence of a tool that can reproduce the claims is sufficient to prove prior art.

I think the attack would be on its obviousness - this is a natural solution to the problems presented using the existing tools available.
Sean Kelleher (over 2 years ago)
Great!

Now, can we show that each of the elements in the claims of this application are covered in known HMI solutions already available? Whether in one alone or in a combination of HMI solutions.

Or at least can we show documentation how an HMI solutions covers the claims?
3
robin szemeti (over 2 years ago)
Several pieces of prior art have been posted relating to systems to report the state of running computer programs (processes) eg the windows tasklist. This is unrelated to this patent, which concerns itself with industrial processes and aspects of them (eg the temperature of the coolant in a beer-bottling plant, or pressures in a chemical reaction vessel)

I think a few people saw the word "process" and thouht it meant computer processes (ie running tasks) its not that at all ...
Lou Scheffer (over 2 years ago)
I don't think this is disqualifying at all. After all, why is the computer term called a "process", anyway? It's because it's an object performing action on its own, exactly as an industrial process does. And the problems of debugging it, trying to determine and display the internal state, and understanding the relationships between the various observed variables, are identical.

Also, in many cases real time computer software (a software process, or processes) is used to control the physical hardware process, and maintains a 1-1 correspondence of internal software and external hardware state. In this case the same technology applies to both. This appears to be the underlying assumption of this patent as well, where they are proposing using a specific software process to control/monitor a hardware process.
2
B. C. (over 2 years ago)
After reading this, my first thought was "Isn't this what SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) does?" SNMP is used to give the status of hardware, firmware and software in an enterprise role where it may be used for a variety of purposes including troubleshooting, trend analysis, use in a data warehouse for advanced reporting and a host of other uses. The concept surely isn't new and the method may be new but it does what previous methods have already accomplished. I don't see
robin szemeti (over 2 years ago)
you are looking too hard. Think about a laptop, almost any laptop (eg my Dell Inspiron) it has a battery monitor facility ... you can display a bar indactor of battery state ... or consider the Windows battery life indicator in the taskbar that summarises the state of multiple batteries in the laptop .. or consider any MRTG generated graph of temperature. claim 1 describes nothing more than a process variable and a visual indicator. I'll offer as prior art the temperature guage and miles per g
B. C. (over 2 years ago)
I was implying processing in a non-computer sense. SNMP is used to monitor traffic through a router, rotation speed of a fan, capacity of a drive, anything that you can write a MIB for. I've written several from IEEE-488 interfaces to Cisco systems to robotics in IC manufacturing to you name it. SNMP is only limited by ones imagination.
robin szemeti (over 2 years ago)
Yes, I appreciate that, and I appreciate that SNMP is limited only by imagination, but we need to find actual examples of monitoring of grouped data (eg temperature and humidity of a room displayed in a block) ... there must be a million examples fo this out there, its just a question of finding them.

Eliminate the independent claims and the whole thing disappears
Jan Magnusson (over 2 years ago)
In aircraft avionics there must be plenty of examples of grouping instrument data in order to display the status of a process. The patent says nothing about how data is displayed, only that it is displayed.
Should we also consider the special case when the number of inputs and rules is only just one? When you are only monitoring one data input, you are doing something very, very trivial, and the patent says one or more. In the case of 1, you can not group.
B. C. (over 2 years ago)
Take a single engine fighter jet and look at fuel. We have how much fuel, flow rate, temperature, pressure, etc. On multi-engine passenger jet, the display panel has all the parameters for each engine, RPM, exhaust temp, combustion, throttle, thrust, etc. So it doesn't matter if it is one input or many. As for being obvious, look at your car dashboard. You have engine temp, oil pressure, RPM, speed, fuel, etc. All monitoring your engine -- heck, you even have an onboard computer controllin
Brian O'Byrne (over 2 years ago)
Claims 9, 10, 11, 12 specify the system to include a computer and a GUI with context menus and configurability, so that is something about how the data is displayed. Are there car systems predating the patent that have something similar to a GUI and context menus?
robin szemeti (over 2 years ago)
thats not really relevant. The independent claims (1, 14 and 20) are easily covered by the prior art (for example, the grouped data in aircraft engine monitoring) .. if the independent claims fall, then (as I understand it) all the dependent claims beneath them fall too.
Philip J. Hoffmann (over 2 years ago)
Actually, this is not correct. If no prior art is found teaching or suggesting even a single feature of any dependent claim, then the independent claims can be amended to include this (by definition) novel and unobvious feature. Thus, a complete analysis takes into account each and every feature of every claim.
1
Steven Weiner (over 2 years ago)
The independent claims (1, 14, 20) consist almost entirely of generic terms: system, process, summary, block, input data, variable, attribute, display.

Displaying a "summary" of a system process based on input describing the process variables etc. made me think of CAD systems right away. Prior Art Reference 1 is just one typical example of such prior art, which was conventional/ubiquitous in the 90's and some of which dates back to the 80's.

Does anyone see meaningful distinctions at