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Archiver > APG > 2007-11 > 1196351149

From: "Gladys Friedman Paulin" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] E: Ancestry Patent
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 10:45:49 -0500
In-Reply-To: <024901c8329d$46430230$6501a8c0@linda>

I am wondering how what ancestry does is different front the systems used by
Jewishgem.org which, I believe, predates the Ancestry phenomenon?
Gladys Friedman Paulin, CG
Winter Springs, FL
Editor _OnBoard, the Newsletter of the Board for Certification of
Genealogists_ (BCG)
Member , Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)
CG, Certified Genealogist, is a service mark of the Board for Certification
of Genealogists and is used under license by Board-certified persons who
meet program standards and periodic rigorous evaluations.

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf
Of Linda Altman
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: [APG] E: Ancestry Patent

My husband went through the patent process with the company he was working
for. In order to get a patent the idea has to be either unique or a great
improvement on something that already exists and it has to be useful. He got
2/3 of the way through the process and the attorneys decided that the
program was not unique enough. This process takes a long time. Ancestry
would be better off copyrighting their actual code.

Sorting a database from an index file is neither new nor unique, nor is it
an improvement on anything currently available. Almost every database
program does the same thing Ancestry is claiming. It takes an index file and
creates a table or sort file, it partitions the data out to create a list of
matching criteria. In programming terms this is a basic if - then - else
statement (if the name matches then it goes into the new file, if not go to
the next record). It links all related files to the search criteria in a
parent-child format (not genealogically speaking: there is main record - the
parent record; and all linked files to that main record - the child
records). This is basic database design, it has been taught for years (I
took this course almost 25 years ago) and I cannot seem to comprehend what
Ancestry is claiming is anything new or novel.

Linda Altman

-----Original Message-----
From: J.O.S. N. [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:00 AM
Subject: Re: [APG] E: Ancestry Patent

We learn things from our children as well as our parents. My son once taught
me that to be patentable an idea must be useful, novel and non obvious. If
the technique is one that has been in wide use in one name studies it seems
to me that it is not novel. I mentioned to him last night that I was
remembering something that he had taught me and we were wondering if anyone
has published a "methods paper" discussing this technique.

Judy Newman


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