In order for prior art to cover this, either one reference, showing that this was known before the patentee's invention, has to anticipate every one of the limitations in the claim; or, it must have been obvious for one of ordinary skill in the art to combine multiple references which, when put together, cover every limitation in the claim.
INAL goes with saying.
Please see patent office http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7346850.PN.&OS=PN/7346850&RS=PN/7346850version for better information.
Can anyone tell me what the differences are between claims 1 and 16? Outside a rewording??? This patent describes a point and click filesystem interface. It provides a visual snapshot of the files, links applications to files based apon being able to manupulate them, and opens the application when that file is selected.
Claim 2/3 looks like screen capture to me.
Claim 4 is the loading of the application linkage with the icon into memory.
Claim 5/6 looks like focus follows mouse cursor.
Claim 7/8/9 is opening application when the icon is selected by unknown method, keyboard or mouse.
Claim 10 allows multiple invocations of the same application.
Claim 11 looks like autosave.
Claim 12 looks like it's trying to cover the bases by mentioning paths and handles for each file. MacOS anybody?
Claim 13 again looks like base covering by covering automatic printing instead of application invocation when selected.
Cliam 14 is copying the file instead of invocation of an application.
Claim 15 is bogus (like the rest). Instead of creating an icon of a "real" file, it a template file instead.
Claim 16 is claim 1 reworded as far as I can tell.
Claim 17 is claim 16's version of claim 4.
The weird part of this patent is the requirement that an application be manuplating the files in question when the snapshot is made. Most likely a restriction required by the examiner.
Now for a REAL laugh, they filed an another http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=09097283&OS=09097283&RS=09097283application for a NEW patent as a continuation-in-part of the granted application. I can't belive they spent the money. And BTW, it almost looks like the filed lawsuit assumes that THIS application has granted instead of 09/878,009 from which patent 7,346,850 was granted.
And remember that it is the language of the claims that matter, NOT the abstract or desciption.