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 From:  David Cook <david dot cook at jetpress dot com>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  RE: [m0n0wall] captive portal support - patent problem?
 Date:  Tue, 27 Jan 2004 13:39:25 -0000
Could this be a problem? Article appeared on "The Register" this morning

Press release from Nomadix:


Nomadix patents Wi-Fi hotspot log-in tech

By Tony Smith
Posted: 27/01/2004 at 12:16 GMT

Wi-Fi providers who redirect users' web browsers to their own log-in page
may soon have to cough up cash if they want to continue using the technique
- US network access software company Nomadix has patented it. 

The patent, number 6,636,894, was granted on 21 October last year, but is
applicable right back to 8 December 1999. It essentially describes systems
that redirects portable-computer users who access a public network to the
host's home page, irrespective of the user's browser settings and
transparent to the user. The systems cover both wired and wireless access. 

It also discusses the authentication and authorisation system that maintains
user accounts and interacts with the billing system when network access is
not provided free of charge. 

Almost all public Wi-Fi networks - and pretty much every one of them that
charge users for access - operate such a methodology. No wonder Nomadix
describes the technique as "fundamentally essential to the success of the
rapidly growing Wi-Fi market". 

Nomadix customers will inherently have a licence to use the technique, but
WISPs who have developed their own redirection code, or have acquired it
from other companies, will need to ensure they have permission to use it. 

Nomadix will certainly be expecting them to. "Some [companies] copied what
we've done," said Nomadix CTO, co-founder and senior VP, Joel Short,
according to a Wi-Fi Networking News report. "We stand behind our
intellectual property and now we're going to encourage those folks who
provide that method to license the technology from us." ®


Nunn Close
NG17 2HW

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