SBC patents web site navigation

Evil SBC acts like bully going after small sites with an absurd patent. If you’ve ever designed a web site with “selectors or tabs that… seem to reside in their own frame or part of the user interface” such as Metafilter’s header or Amazon’s tabs or c|net’s yellow side bar, then your design is in violation of SBC Communication’s patent number 5,933,841. Here’s the abstract:

A structured document browser includes a constant user interface for displaying and viewing sections of a document that is organized according to a pre-defined structure. The structured document browser displays documents that have been marked with embedded codes that specify the structure of the document. The tags are mapped to correspond to a set of icons. When the icon is selected while browsing a document, the browser will display the section of the structure corresponding to the icon selected, while preserving the constant user interface.

Armed with this patent SBC is going after web sites with a licensing fee of $100,000 to $16,000,000. Will this insanity ever stop?
via Jarle’s Cyberspace [metafilter.com]

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