This is another example of idiocy in the patent office
The Internet Design Company, Balthaser, has patented the design and creation of Rich-Media Services over the Internet.
Here is a direct link to the patent
The article says this covers technologies such as Flash, AJAX, and Java.
Based on my review of the patent, I'm confused. (I'll admit, I didn't read all 75 pages)
In some places it sounds like a standard HTML form could be in violation if it allows users to create and edit content over the Internet.
In other places, it sounds like "Rich Media Apps" must be created over the Internet, in which case Flash is exempt. We create it on our local machines and only deploy it over the Internet.
The patent, specifically, references "Java Applets" and "Shockwave Flash Files", which makes it even more confusing. Patents aren't valid if there is "Prior Art", so referencing technologies that are "Prior Art" inside the patent itself boggles the mind.
I expect to see a lot more news about this.
Update: The Balthaser site is a good example of how not to use Flash.