Advisory to users of Trapcode Sound Keys in the United States
The owner of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/242,447 may consider connecting the output from Trapcode Sound Keys to the Time Remapping function in Adobe After Effects a potential infringement of his rights in the application.

To further clarify, the output from Trapcode Sound Keys is a stream of keyframes that correspond to a frequency range in an audio layer. This stream can be connected via an expression to a parameter on a layer. For example, it can be connected to scale, rotation, position etc. This advisory is concerned only with the specific connection of the output from Trapcode Sound Keys to Time Remapping. It does not relate to any other output connections from Trapcode Sound Keys.

The published application appears to contain claims to resequencing frames in, for example, a video sequence based on an analysis of a second signal, for example, an audio signal. Based only on this published application, we believe that Trapcode Sound Keys, in itself, does not infringe those claims.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has mailed a notice of allowance to the owner and the application, in some form, is expected to issue as a patent soon. At this time we do not know what claims will be in the patent, that is, we are not sure exactly what the patent will cover.

We apologize for any inconvenience and welcome any questions you may have at this time.

Peder Norrby
Founder
Trapcode AB, Sweden
2004-05-21

Send questions to: info(at)trapcode.com

Addendum
The application has been approved as US Patent 6,744,974.

In GENERAL about Patents, May 1st, 2007.
This is from Wall Street Journal On-Line. This link may work, or this. Following text (c)2007 Wall Street Journal on-line:

Patents That Violate the 'Obvious' Test
At roughly the same time the government was making the copyright accusations against China and Russia, the Supreme Court issued a decision on another intellectual-property front, essentially loosening patent protections in the U.S. for the sake of innovation. The unanimous ruling found the current system so inflexible for inventions deemed "obvious" that it could hold back original advances in technology and other areas. The court adopted a new standard "that will make it easier for patents to be denied or challenged on the grounds that the invention at issue is too obvious to deserve patent protection," as Legal Times reports. Writing for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected an appellate court's "rigid approach," which looked at an inventor's motivation and used tests that depend in part on scientific literature and other evidence that can fall behind technological evolution.

"Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress and may, in the case of patents combining previously known elements, deprive prior inventions of their value or utility," Mr. Kennedy wrote. "The results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts." In a separate decision, the justices put limits on the enforceability of American patents for software installed overseas, in a decision that rejected an AT&T case against Microsoft, as The Wall Street Journal reports. The two rulings "are sure to influence pending patent cases while opening an unknown number of existing patents to challenges," the Journal adds. "Weaker patents that survived under lower-court precedents are more likely to be invalidated, putting their inventions in the public domain."