Cornering the QR Market

Marshall Feature Recognition claims infringement by QR code in the E.D. of Texas against Toni&Guy USA, Anheuser-Busch, CVS Caremark, Target, Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Corp., and HJ Heinz Company. The patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 6,886,750 (“Method and apparatus for accessing electronic data via a familiar printed medium”) filed Jan. 2001, and issued May 2005. Marshall Feature Recognition alleges that the infringing act is: “requir[ing] and/or direct[ing] users to access and/or use Quick Response Codes (“QR Codes”) printed on Defendant’s commercial advertisements, in a manner claimed in the ’750 patent. Defendant infringes the ‘750 patent by providing printed commercial documents that have at least one machine recognizable feature i.e. a QR Code.” Complaint ¶ 11.
I was just going to list a few claims, but it really is a patent to behold and appreciate in full (especially the claims re the information superhighway, claim 41–56). See below for all claims. But first, a few paragraphs from the complaint re the accused method of infringement. Marshall Feature Recognition is represented by Austin Hansley.
Toni&Guy

What is claimed is:
1. A system for displaying programming to a user, the system comprising: a printed commercial document having at least one machine recognizable feature; a feature recognition unit having associated therewith a means for recognizing said feature and a means for transmitting a coded signal in response to the recognition of said feature; an intelligent controller having associated therewith a means for accessing said programming material in response to receiving said coded signal; and a display unit for presenting said programming material.
2. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a tag.
3. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said tag comprises a price tag.
4. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a decal.
5. A system as defined in claim 4 wherein said decal comprises a parking permit.
6. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said commercial document comprises an invoice.
7. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a receipt.
8. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a bill of sale.
9. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a credit card.
10. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises an identification card issued by a commercial organization.
11. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a periodic, report.
12. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises an annual report.
13. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a newsletter.
14. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a program.
15. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a musical score.
16. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises an application form.
17. A system as defined in claim 16 wherein said application form comprises an employment application form.
18. A system as defined in claim 16 wherein said application form comprises a credit card application form.
19. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises travel itinerary.
20. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a letter of recommendation.
21. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a merchandise coupon.
22. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a product brochure.
23. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a service brochure.
24. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises instructions.
25. A system as defined in claim 24 wherein said instructions comprise product assembly instructions.
26. A system as defined in claim 24 wherein said instructions comprise product use instructions.
27. A system as defined in claim 24 wherein said instructions comprise service instructions.
28. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a service manual.
29. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises warranty information.
30. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a greeting card.
31. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature has associated therewith a data link which is recognized by said feature recognition unit.
32. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an image data link.
33. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises a video data link.
34. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises a programming data link.
35. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises a sound data link.
36. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an online data link.
37. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an online shopping data link.
38. A system as defined, in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises a pictorial data link.
39. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an electronic data link.
40. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an electronic media link.
41. A system as defined in claim 31 wherein said data link comprises an “information superhighway” data link.
42. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises the internet.
43. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises the world wide web.
44. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a computer network.
45. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises an integrated services digital network (“ISDN”) network.
46. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a telephone line.
47. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a cable television (“CATV”) line.
48. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a local area network.
49. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a wide area network.
50. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a data communications network.
51. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises an Internet Product Service Directory.
52. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a globally based digital communications network.
53. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a wireless network link.
54. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a Wireless Application Protocol internet.
55. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises an ethernet network.
56. A system as defined in claim 41 wherein said “information superhighway” data link comprises a radio frequency (“RF”) cellular network.
57. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a bar code.
58. A system as defined in claim 57 wherein said bar code comprises a Universal Product Code.
59. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an invisible bar code.
60. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a magnetic code.
61. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a printed character.
62. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a symbol.
63. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a pictorial icon.
64. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an invisible indicia.
65. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a two-dimensional figure.
66. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an icon.
67. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an invisible icon.
68. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a watermark.
69. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an invisible watermark.
70. A system as defined in claim 69 wherein said invisible watermark comprises a digital watermark.
71. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a series of alphanumeric characters.
72. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a binary code.
73. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a digital watermark.
74. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a magnetic strip.
75. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a code.
76. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an online shopping product code.
77. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a home shopping product code.
78. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an online shopping service code.
79. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a home shopping service code.
80. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises an analog pattern.
81. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a hieroglyphic character.
82. A system as defined in claim in 1 wherein said programming material comprises information.
83. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises information about an individual identified by said printed commercial document.
84. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises a “background check” of an individual identified by said printed commercial document.
85. A system as defined in claim wherein said information comprises information about an organization identified by said printed commercial document.
86. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises a “background check” of an organization identified by said printed commercial document.
87. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises information about an individual issuing said printed commercial document.
88. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises information about an organization issuing said printed commercial document.
89. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises information about a product associated with said printed commercial document.
90. A system as defined in claim 82 wherein said information comprises information about a service associated with said printed commercial document.
91. A system as defined in claim in 1 wherein said programming material comprises a service.
92. A system as defined in claim 91 wherein said service includes displaying promotional programming material on said display unit.
93. A system as defined in claim 91 wherein said service includes conducting an interaction with said user via a telephone.
94. A system as defined in claim 91 wherein said service includes conducting an interaction between a plurality of users via an online communication chat link.
95. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a personal computer.
96. A system as defined in claim 95 wherein said personal computer comprises a laptop computer.
97. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a television.
98. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a device containing a microprocessor.
99. A system as defined in claim 98 wherein said device containing a microprocessor is hand-held.
100. A system as defined in claim 98 wherein said device containing a microprocessor is portable.
101. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a personal digital planner.
102. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises an internet appliance.
103. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a cellular telephone.
104. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a wireless communication device.
105. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a simulated book.
106. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises an intelligent terminal.
107. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a web-based television.
108. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises a pager.
109. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display unit comprises an Internet-enabled telephone.
110. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said feature recognition unit is selected from a group consisting of a hand-held unit, a scanner, a bar code scanner, an optical code reader, an optical reader, a personal camera, a personal computer reader, a digital camera, a digital mouse and an optical mouse.
111. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit is linked to a personal computer.
112. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit is linked to a wireless interface.
113. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless interface comprises a wireless network.
114. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless network comprises a cellular network.
115. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless interface comprises a cellular telephone.
116. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless interface comprises a pager.
117. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless interface comprises a wireless personal computer.
118. A system as defined in claim 112 wherein said wireless interface comprises a personal digital assistant.
119. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit is linked to a personal digital assistant.
120. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit is linked to an Internet appliance.
121. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit is linked to a television set.
122. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit comprises, a portion of a cellular telephone.
123. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit comprises a portion of a personal digital assistant.
124. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit comprises a portion of a remote control unit.
125. A system as defined in claim 110 wherein said feature recognition unit comprises a portion of a handwriting implement.
126. A method of providing a user access to programming material, comprising the steps of: printing a machine recognizable feature within a commercial document; scanning said machine recognizable feature of said commercial document; and transmitting data associated with said machine recognizable feature via a communication link to access said programming material, wherein said programming material is related to said commercial document.
127. The method of claim 126 wherein said communication link includes the Internet.
128. The method of claim 126 wherein said machine recognizable feature is selected from a group consisting of bar code, universal product code, invisible bar code, magnetic code, printed character, symbol, invisible indicia, two-dimensional figure, icon, invisible icon, watermark, invisible watermark, digital watermark, series of alphanumeric characters, binary code, magnetic strip, code, analog pattern, photograph, digital photograph, and hieroglyphic character.
129. A method of providing a user access to supplemental programming material associated with a commercial document, comprising the steps of: printing a machine recognizable feature within said commercial document, wherein said machine recognizable feature has associated therewith a command sequence for accessing programming material; scanning said machine recognizable feature within said commercial document and downloading data indicative of said machine recognizable feature via the Internet to a remote server; accessing programming material from said remote server; and transmitting said programming material to said user allowing said user to perceive said programming material in a humanly perceivable form, wherein said programming material is related to said commercial document.
130. The method of claim 129 wherein said programming material comprises multimedia.
131. The method of claim 129 wherein said machine recognizable feature is selected from a group consisting of a bar code, a universal product code, invisible bar code, magnetic code, printed character, symbol, invisible indicia, two-dimensional figure, icon, invisible icon, watermark, invisible watermark, digital watermark, series of alphanumeric characters, binary code, magnetic strip, code, analog pattern, photograph, digital photograph, and hieroglyphic character.
132. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises a boarding pass.
133. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said printed commercial document comprises an airline boarding pass.
134. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a photo.
135. A system as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one machine recognizable feature comprises a digitized photo.
136. A method according to claim 126 wherein said commercial document comprises a boarding pass.
137. A method according to claim 126 wherein said commercial document comprises an airline boarding pass.
138. A method according to claim 129 wherein said commercial document comprises a boarding pass.
139. A method according to claim 129 wherein said commercial document comprises an airline boarding pass.

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