Yeah, otherwise known as a "software patent". It's worth clarifying what a software patent is not, the better to understand what it is and why it's so pernicious and why they're banned (yes, they are) in the EU and pretty much everywhere else in the world except AU. and JP.
They're also banned in the US - there are no patents on pure software per se, which is the same rule used by the EU and everywhere else (including the AU and JP). Instead, this is a patent on a method of using an electronic device; a product that includes executable code; and a computer system including a processor, memory, and program module, and includes various additional limitations that apparently aren't taught or suggested by the prior art.
Alternately, look at this and then come tell us again how software patents are banned in the EU.
Software patents are not patents on specific ways for causing a machine to perform a useful function. That type of IP is the IP we call "copyright". Copyright does prevent your code, your (virtual) machine, from being ripped off.
Copyright protects only that specific code. Rewrite the code, and it's not copyright infringement. TinyTower doesn't infringe the copyright of DreamHeights. Farmville doesn't infringe the copyright of FarmTown. Open Office doesn't infringe the copyright of Microsoft Office.
Copyright is useful when someone wants that specific item: we want to see the latest Avengers movie, not some Bollywood "Revengers" knock-off (caveat: some of us want to see that). We want the latest Taylor Swift album, not Sailor Tift's album (caveat: some of us want neither). It's why movies and books and music are pirated - we want those exact items.
But that doesn't apply to most software. In fact, copyright is generally useless for software, and particularly for business software: your average office worker doesn't care if they're using Numbers or Excel or Google Sheets, as long as the functionality is there and they're interoperable... and that means that the only way to really protect your business software, other than patents, is to require proprietary formats that aren't interoperable. And that's bad for consumers.
You have to find a relatively original way to achieve the same effect, but the *idea* of what you're doing is not patentable. Copyright naturally delivers all that to computer IP.
As noted above, TinyTower/DreamHeights; Farmville/FarmTown; MS Word/Writer; Excel/Calc; etc., etc. Those all use the same exact ways to achieve the same effect, but because they don't actually involve copied code or graphics, they're not copyright infringements.
Software patents are patents on all ways to cause a machine to perform a generally describable function. It's not the specific implementation performing the useful function that is being protected- it's the ability to achieve the same ends in any way whatsoever.
Not at all - "software patents", like any patents, cover a specific implementation. In fact, claiming just the result - "the ends" - is unpatentable.
In this case, the "ends" are sharing files. You claim that the patent covers every way to share files, right? Like "copying a file to disk and giving it to a friend"? Well, let's see... Nope. The word "disk" only shows up once in the specification and nowhere in the claims. Nor do the claims bear any relation to copying a file to a disk and sharing it. You couldn't possibly infringe the patent by copying a file to a disk and giving it to a friend, and therefore, no, the patent doesn't cover that.
It seems like you don't actually understand what a patent is, or what parts of it are important. For example:
So like the RIM patent debacle, this patent covers things unbelievably abstract and covers things like this:
For people who don't follow links, it's a picture of little labeled boxes representing computers, with arrows being drawn between the little boxes to signify what info gets passed between what computers and when. That's what they're patenting. That's what the patent in the 750 million dollar RIM/NTP case did- took THIS info out of a data base NOW and sent it to THAT computer who did THIS with that info.
That's right folks, we are patenting flowcharts. Read it and weep-
That's a figure from the patent, it's not what the patent covers. The only part of the patent that has legal weight are the claims. The rest of the patent is merely there to help interpret what's in the claims. Also, you'd have done better to link to Figure 4, which actually is a flow chart.
What the patent actually covers is this:
1. An electronic-device-implemented method, the method comprising:
using the electronic device, generating a symmetric encryption key associated with a content item;
encrypting the content item using the symmetric encryption key;
encrypting the symmetric encryption key using a public encryption key for a recipient to generate an encrypted symmetric encryption key;
providing the encrypted symmetric encryption keys and information specifying the recipient to a synchronization computer that communicates, via a shared network, with at least one electronic device associated with the recipient; and
communicating the encrypted content item to instances of a client application executing on the at least one electronic device via secure peer-to-peer distributed sharing.
It's really about double layered encryption. Without taking a position on whether there's other prior art out there for this (there may well be, I haven't done a search), this isn't just "peer-to-peer file sharing". If you don't encrypt a symmetric encryption key, then you can happily share files all you want, even over BT, without ever getting even close to infringing this patent.
Same basic result - sharing files - but the patent only covers a specific implementation.
Now the part that you seem to be confused about is that patents cover any way of doing that implementation - so, it's no different if you code it in C or C# or Swift or COBOL or Java, or if you make it bigendian rather than littleendian, or if your variables are all named after composers as opposed to artists, or any other changes that would make your version not copyright infringement. And that's the way it should be for the reasons noted above.