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My name is Steven and i'm based in UK. I wanted to ask if my work on Chrome extension is infringing/violating this patent:US20130132904or US8869068 by any chance?

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/buttonless/mbpgpedohbkagifgfilmicgklianboei?hl=en-GB

My idea involves around holding down a click and release above on prompted menues. In the patent, it has the same interaction, although it specifically mentioned a radially-distributed menus. What I'm hoping to find out is does this mean that anything which related to sharing/in browser/ that involves a radially-distributed menus are prohibited or count as infringing this patent?

Although mine does not look like a pie but it has the same layout displayed in Fig.1 C.

As patent have mentioned these

As used herein, “radially-distributed” refers to a menu having menu items arranged in a pattern that radiates from a point.

As used herein, “pie menu” means a substantially circular menu made by arrangement of menu items, or “pie slices,” around a central point where selection of a menu item depends on direction rather than distance. In some cases, “pie menu” is used interchangeably with “radial menu.”

Accordingly, a radially-distributed menu has many suitable shapes and sizes. Suitable shapes include, by way of non-limiting examples, substantially circular, semi-circular, partially circular, substantially elliptical, semi-elliptical, substantially ovoid, semi-ovoid, substantially square, substantially diamond, substantially rectangular, substantially triangular, substantially pentagonal, substantially hexagonal, substantially octagonal, and the like. Suitable sizes are generally regulated by available display space and by the number of menu items.

b. a software module for displaying a radially-distributed menu of destinations for identified content in response to the first user interaction, the menu of destinations allowing the user to select any of: one destination, a plurality of destinations, and all destinations, wherein each destination is a distinct network, forum, service, or application;

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I hate to do this, but your question is so specific that I'm not comfortable answering because you're not a client.

Note, however, that what you've linked to is a patent APPLICATION. It has not yet issued as a patent. It might never do so. You can use something called "public pair" from the United States Patent Office to check the progress of this application.

  • Hi Ben, Apologise for this specific question. I wasn't sure how I should address it. Many thanks for your help and I confirm that the patent has been issued. – Steven Apr 17 '16 at 21:44
  • No need to apologize. I wish i could help, but it seems pretty specific. – Ben Kleinman Apr 17 '16 at 21:47
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You might want to refer to Fig 4 and the claims in the granted patent. The granted patent has the limitation

c. a software module for displaying a radially-distributed menu of individuals associated with one or more displayed destinations in response to a second user interaction, the menu of individuals allowing the user to select any of: one individual, a plurality of individuals, and all individuals;

Your implementation doesn't have a radial menu with a list of people to share the content with, so there should be no infringement.

  • Hi Daniel, Thank you for your time and response. Yes Fig 4 was something that i definitely don't have. I'm more concerned on the side that Fig 1, C has the exact same shape of the way how I present and since the interaction and purpose are more or less the same. It makes me feel very little chance of not infringing this patent. Unless i've missed out something? – Steven Apr 18 '16 at 8:13
  • To be infringing, your implementation must include all elements in the claim. Fig 4. is included in the independent claims and is an essential part of the patent, which you don't have and therefore doesn't infringe on. – daniel Apr 18 '16 at 8:25
  • Also, a radial menu is a well-known art. A physical dial with various setting arranged radially is a radial menu. There are many software patents on radial menu (e.g. 6,448,987, 5,706,448, and 5,790,820). Note all the examples contain further improvement on a simple circular menu. The earliest of the three ('820) has already expired. Even if there is an earlier patent on a simple radial menu, it would have expired too. – daniel Apr 18 '16 at 8:32
  • Oh so even if it was close but without including all the elements it doesn't count as infringing? Is this 100% genuine that i'm not breaking any laws here? The worry i have is that it serves the same purpose. chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cortex/… – Steven Apr 18 '16 at 10:07
  • No, you wouldn't be infringing because your implementation is just a radial menu, which is well known long before US Pat. '068. The patent owner didn't invent the radial menu. What the patent owner invented is a second radial menu for choosing the designation, which you didn't copy. – daniel Apr 19 '16 at 9:29

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