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I'm wondering if 'US6137498' is still valid.

This patent is about photo mosaics, and I'm thinking that it is very weird for making artwork to be protected by a patent. I have read an article about the a reexamination request of this patent by PUBAT(Public Patent Foundation), and the article said that 'In February 2010, the Examiner issued a final rejection of the vast majority of the claims in the patent.'. Does this mean the patent is not valid anymore?

I also found a lot of software and companies that make or sell photo mosaic works. Is it ok to make my own photo mosaic software as long as I don't use the algorithm that proposed by the owner of 'US6137498'. (I think it would be OK. Like a Coca cola - Pepsi cola situation)

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2 Answers 2

The reexam case number is 90/009275 (from one of the documents posted at PubPat - I also didn't see it listed where I expected to find it in USPTO database)

If you look it up in public PAIR under that serial # you will see that a re exam certificate was issued in Aug of 2010. Claim 1 was amended by adding the words "to provide shape matching in order to". There may have been other changes.

Making your own software is ok if it does not use the steps of these amended claims or those of any other patent.

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During reexamination, this patent was the basis for a patent infringement suit filed in New York, Mosaic Legends LLC v. Blankinaki d/b/a Pixable, case no. 1:10-cv-4302.

It appears that the case was settled very early, possibly as a result of the reexamination.

There do not appear to be any additional reported cases of litigation asserting this patent.

According to PTO records, the most recent maintenance fee has been paid.

You may be able to answer your question about the enforceability/validity prospects from this information.

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