In reference to the patent: US20110320926

I worked on a project that became an Apache (open source) project. The functionality and methods described in this patent existed in the Apache XMLBeans project dating back to at least 2004. Tool Description: http://xmlbeans.apache.org/docs/2.0.0/guide/tools.html#inst2xsd Source Code showing date of 2004 http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/xmlbeans/trunk/src/tools/org/apache/xmlbeans/impl/xsd2inst/SampleXmlUtil.java?view=log

Additionally, there were/are other projects and tooling that provide similar functionality to that described in this patent. This query was posted in 2008, 2 years before the patent filing date. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/74879/any-tools-to-generate-an-xsd-schema-from-an-xml-instance-document

Microsoft also has a tool that provides similar functionality (see the XML to XSD section) https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/x6c1kb0s(VS.80).aspx

I don't find anything novel or unique about the approach this patent describes, in fact it seems quite similar to the algorithm used by Apache XMLBeans' inst2xsd tool: http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/xmlbeans/trunk/src/tools/org/apache/xmlbeans/impl/xsd2inst/SampleXmlUtil.java?revision=825680&view=markup

Can anyone see the uniqueness in this patent?

1 Answer 1


Note that this is only a patent application, not a patent grant.

Looking into the Image File Wrapper (USPTO Public Pair database), you will find that this application was Abandoned on March 19, 2013 and is now in the Public Domain.

After several Office Actions, the claims were rejected by the examiner based on an earlier patent application (US 2006/0206518 A1: Method and system for extracting structural information from a data file) and patent grant (US 8,086,953 B1: Identifying transient portions of web pages):

Claims 1-19 are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103(a) as being unpatentable over Bhatia (U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No: US 2006/0206518A1) in view of Gabber (U.S. Pat. No: US 8,086,953 B1 filed Dec. 19, 2008).

Bhatia teaches [a] method (Abstract) and machine-readable medium (Claims 21-23) [for] generating an XML schema...

Sometimes, one of the big players (in this case, Oracle) may file a patent application and then abandon it for the sole purpose of serving as prior art, which gives them (and everyone else) freedom to operate by preventing additional patent applications in that space. This in fact benefits the open source community, as well as smaller commercial players, by clearing a space that is free of intellectual property.

Oracle did make one attempt to revise the claim language, but after a second office action, the application was abandoned.

Although open source software can be used as Prior Art, a more compelling rejection is often possible through existing patent literature.

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