Breadcrumb Patent

Want a breadcrumb trail on your website that behaves like the Windows 7 Explorer breadcrumb trail? If you live within the United States, or any of its territories, then you may need a patent use license.


US Patent Application No. 20080282199 covers all breadcrumb arrangements used on the internet that resemble those in Windows 7. This patent was filed in late 2008, and seems to be pending USPTO approval. While some of its claims cover features of Breadcrumb NavXT, Breadcrumb NavXT qualifies as prior art (Breadcrumb NavXT has supported hierarchical categories since 2.0.0 Beta 1, way back in November 2007).

This was found in the midst of research for implementing custom taxonomy support in Breadcrumb NavXT. In the next release, 3.4.0, taxonomy support will be completely reworked. This will enable support any flat and hierarchical taxonomy for post organization and archives. The former was implemented and in the SVN Trunk, the latter is a work in progress at the moment. Note that the SVN Trunk should be considered volatile at this time, and may contain code that does not fully work.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

4 thoughts on “Breadcrumb Patent

    • Phil,

      Yeah, the real problem now days is that the patent office does not have enough electronic technology literate people working for them. And, their retention rate for what we’d consider good patent clerks is low. I could also hint at possible corruption, but I really think incompetence is the prevailing cause of the issuing of invalid patents.

      Also, even though you may have implemented such a navigation system in the past, if it was done in a different country, in this case the UK, it only counts as prior art in the UK (and possibly the EU). At least that was how the system used to work, and I assume it is still that way.

      -John Havlik

  1. This form of navigation is nothing new. I’ve worked on numerous website pre 2007 that used breadcrumb navigation. The patent system is severely broken especially when pertaining to Software.

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