This information is a clarification for:
Busy people with limited time and resources that have to deal with prior art searches. We have decided to make it easier on them.
Customers and partners:
Some have received nasty messages with “exclusivity” threats – this is to show that they are invalid.
Who are we?
RunnerScanner is owned and run by software engineers and is in the photography business since 2007. The research and development of automated photo tagging solution has begun in 2009. In 2012 – we launched our automated detection system consists of 2D barcode-like matrices (“barcodes”).
The barcodes consist of black and white “pixels” surrounded by black frame and by a white frame. Those barcodes are printed on participants bibs / helmet stickers / neck tags etc. Photos taken in the event are scanned, tagged, branded and organized into personal albums / video clips / uploaded to social networks. Since 2012 we have printed hundreds of thousands of barcodes for public events and processed millions of photos taken with them.
Fantastic! what’s the problem then?
Some of our competitors has applied for a patent on our methods in a cynical exploitation of patent examiners problems to search for this prior art. They knew about our existing activity but have chosen illegally not to disclose that in their applications. They also sent warning letters to our customers to scare them away from us. While most people can tell the attempt, others may be fulled or believe the attempt.
What is “Prior art”?
Any evidence that an invention was already known is a Prior art. You cannot “invent” “inventions” that are already in the public domain. Prior art search is the first and basic action in any patent application. Like any search – prior art searches, done on limited resources can miss. More on prior art from the European Patent Office: https://www.epo.org/learning-events/materials/inventors-handbook/novelty/prior-art.html
Patent examiners /Customers / Partners,
Thanks for taking a few moments to review the below prior art pieces. We will be happy to supply more samples / explanations / anything required to eliminate any doubt you might have. This is only a small part of what we have. Feel free to contact us here.
Pre 2014 prior art samples: