Frequently asked questions

Q. Who knows what a patent is anyway ?

A patent is a legal document that provides its owners or its inventor with the rights to prevent anyone using the information published in the patent  for a set number of years.    The owner of a patent is entitlement to pursue and enforce the rights granted under the patent through an appropriate court system.  

The patent rights are issued by the appropriate patenting authority in the country or countries where the patent is registered.  The unauthorised  use of a published patent is subject to royalty payments or a licensing fee to the patent owners.  Unauthorised use of the patented technology is always subject to the obligation to pay these fees. Even if you have no knowledge of the patent's existence, the obligation on the user remains in force.  Ignorance is no excuse for avoiding the payments due to the owner or inventor of a patent. 

M4siz Limited is the beneficial owners of patents 


Q. How can you patent abbreviated URIs?

Only if you are using syntactically correct URIs (Universal Resource Identifiers) will you not undermine our patent. However, our original idea and subsequent patent was to envisage a time when the use of natural language search strings including abbreviated URIs would create a more human-friendly way to promote and locate information via the web.

Q. Can you patent redirection?

True, and this is not the basis of our patents. The concepts embodied in the patents do not relate to syntactically correct URIs as defined by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the internet) in RFC 1738,1945,2068 and 2616 which form the basis of the http scheme (protocol) as registered with IANA the standards body for the internet.

Q. Is it possible to patent the internet?

True, and this is not the intention of M4siz. The patent relates to a specific aspect of internet usage and practice. Our patent relates to the use of the browser address bar to undertake searches using non-syntactically correct URIs or natural word combinations.

Q. So how come lots of companies use abbreviated URIs (Universal Resource Identifiers)?

In 2000, when the patent was first granted, this was not the case. Google was in its start-up phase and there were no examples of non-standard URIs being functional in promoting or locating information on the web.

Our patents are published in the UK and USA and had to undergo a rigorous approval process prior to being granted to check:

  • new, not known anywhere in the world prior to filing
  • have an inventive step, not obvious or a simple adaptation or combination of existing products
  • be capable of industrial application, having a technical effect

Therefore, we can claim to be the first to identify and exploit the use of non-standard URIs.

Q. Isn't a natural progression or logical extension of internet processes?

Absolutely not. The process of seeking to register a patent checks that this is not the case. While others may use the published patent to seek to use the concepts or corrupt them, our research and subsequent patent during the late 1990s and early 2000s was an innovative and inventive approach to undertaking searches and the use of error handling. It is illegal to steal a patented invention and use it for your own benefit without the approval of the patent owner.

Q. What are international standards?

The internet is a powerful global tool because it uses consistent standards when writing content and defining URIs. The standards relating to the latest http protocol files in 2005 and updated in 2007 by IANA specifically advise against the use of abbreviated syntactically incorrect URIs. Thus if you consistently use these standards you will not infringe our patent.

Q. So how can I find out what your patent is about?

Our patent specifically covers the use of the browser addresser bar to undertake non-syntactically correct URL (Universal Resource Locatorsrs i.e. the web address that is resolved for you to type into the browser address bar) searches. This means that any combination of words typed into the browser address bar that does not conform to IANA standards or http protocol standards may undermine the principles upheld in our patent. Specifically, this means that a URI typed into the browser such as combination of words (the search string) is captured by our patent in all but a limited number of situations.

This process can also be extended to the misuse of error handling protocols to re-direct URIs to different URIs beyond those acceptable re-directions as defined in the IANA standards. Clearly our patent has huge potential in the marketing and promotion of brands and in the location of product information by customers, so be proactive and give us a call.

Q. How do I know if I am infringing your patent?

While ignorance is not a defence nor is the fact that you perceive others to be using similar processes; we appreciate that innocent breaches will occur. The notification you may receive from M4siz is not a threat; it is a notification that we have discovered a potential infringement of our patent using our first level screening tool. This tool is available to you on our website. After the notification is sent to you, M4siz will continue to review your site and any marketing collateral available to it to establish the nature of your infringement.

Should an infringement be confirmed then we will expect you to purchase an annual Valid8 licence to cover past and future usage. If an infringement is not confirmed then we will notify you but hope that you will find benefits from using our services in the future.