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(First, I did not do it. :->)
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Here is some of the legal stuff for XMIT_ID
I started work on XMIT_ID on February 2, 1995. This program was written at first to send and receive packet data. I was using a look up table to decode the data comeing from the sound card. Then I found a bug, the look up table would not work on the start of transmission. By looking at this part of the transmission, I saw that the transmitter pattern looked unique. Then started to write XMIT_ID.
During the Dayton 1996 Hamvention I was talking to Motron about XMIT_ID. Their reaction was that I was, apparently, infringing on a patent licensed to them. This is the patent that protects their product TX-ID. I believe Motron then contacted the inventor, Phillip J. Ferrell (K7PF),but the patent is owned by The Boeing Company of Seattle, WA.
So then I received an Email from Philip, from which I am quoting.
"Richard, The use of frequency/phase versus time to identify an transmitter is rigorously covered in US Patent# 5,005,210. Your sale of a program to accomplish this task apparently is an infringement of that patent, which is owned by the BOEING CO."
End of quote
So I looked up the patent and here is the abstract.
ABSTRACT: of Patent Number 5,005,210
A method and apparatus for identifying a radio transmitter. The transient frequency or phase history of the turn-on characteristics of a transmitter is detected and digitized. The history can be analyzed by a microprocessor operating a computer program to gather transients phase information from an unknown transmitter and to classify the transmitter in accordance with a transient characteristic.Also click here for the full text of patent number 5,005,210
So I talked to some lawyers. One lawyer said just talk to them, find out what they want, and keep an open dialog. The letter I sent back had lots of questions in it. One of the questions was, how much for the patent rights. Another question, why am I infringing on your patent when there is no hardware to my software program.
Now the answers to these questions.
I can not get the rights, because Motron has all rights to the patent except for cellular phones.
Philip said, I do have hardware because I tell them how to build it.
Well there we are, XMIT_ID is here for now, enjoy. There is some good news though. One of the lawyers said that I am not infringing on the patent because my hardware, a sound card, is defined as a wheel in the computer world. This hardware can not be patented. In fact, I could go after all the claims in the patent, to this end, invalidating the patent completely. The Sound Blaster was available in Nov 1989. This is when he made his device and applied for the patent. Anyone can hook up a sound card to a radio's unfiltered audio output with little technical knowledge needed. This requires about as much knowledge as hooking up a VCR. This should invalidate his patent completely, including the fact that he did not do anything to the radios to make them finger printable. This is defined as a discovery that can not be patented.
I had to do a lot of work to come up with this product, about 15,000 lines of code worth. It also takes work to use it. It is not just hook it up and your problem will go away.
I just hope all this work does not go to waste. Please help keep the airways clean.73 de KB8RLN (Richard Rager)
PS: If my product does not meet your requirements, press here to look at TX-ID at http://www.motron.com.
If some lawyer is reading this please tell me anything else I should add..
Written by: Richard Rager
Last Update: March 7, 1998