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Freedom Scientific Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against GW Micro

July 24, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We at Blind Access Journal believe it is absolutely critical that everyone in the blind community understand how our assistive technology industry operates, how the competitors operate with respect to one another and how these interactions may impact the extent to which we are able to acquire access to the information and technology available in the world around us. It is to this end that we must, once again, report on another case in which Freedom Scientific is suing one of its competitors. This time, the defendant is GW Micro, makers of Window-Eyes, the second most popular screen reader in the world. In this latest lawsuit, Freedom Scientific claims that GW Micro has violated its patent number 6,993,707 concerning the implementation of support for placemarkers on web pages in Window-Eyes 7.0. Doug has posted an article entitled Do companies really compete on who has the best lawyers? to the GW Micro Blog in response to this lawsuit. We urge everyone to review the text of the complaint below, read Doug’s blog post, make your own judgements and let us know how you believe the connected online blind community should respond. We ask that you understand that this complaint has been acquired at our own expense, and considerable effort and time have been expended in order to provide its content in an accessible format. The text below does not represent an exact replication of the original Federal Court filing.





Civil Action No.: 8:08-cv-01365-JDW-TBM Freedom Scientific, Inc. v. GW Micro, Inc.

GW MICRO, INC. – Defendant.



  1. Plaintiff Freedom Scientific, Inc. (“Freedom Scientific”) is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  2. On information and belief, GW Micro, Inc. (“GW Micro”), is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Indiana and having a place of business at 725 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  3. This action arises under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.
  4. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under one or more of 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a).
  5. GW Micro has infringed, and is continuing to infringe, Freedom Scientific’s United States patent identified below by making, importing, selling, offering to sell, and/or using within the United States certain computer software.
  6. Count I (Patent Infringement)

  7. Freedom Scientific repeats and realleges the foregoing paragraphs.
  8. Freedom Scientific is the owner of United States Patent No. 6,993,707 (the ‘”707 patent”), issued on January 31, 2006, and has the right to sue on the ‘707 patent. A copy of the ‘707 patent is attached as Exhibit A.
  9. GW Micro has infringed, and is continuing to infringe, the ‘707 patent by making, importing, selling, offering to sell, and/or using within the United States computer software covered by the ‘707 patent.
  10. GW Micro has induced and contributed to infringement by others of the ‘707 patent by causing or aiding others to make, use, import, sell, and/or offer to sell goods covered by the ‘707 patent within the United States.
  11. GW Micro’s infringement of the ‘707 patent is and has been willful, has caused and will continue to cause Freedom Scientific to suffer substantial damages, and has caused and will continue to cause Freedom Scientific to suffer irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law.

WHEREFORE, Freedom Scientific requests that this Court:

  1. Enter a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining GW Micro and its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, licensees, successors, assigns, and all those acting for any of them or on their behalf, or acting in concert with them, from further infringement of the ‘707 patent;
  2. Award Freedom Scientific compensatory damages, costs, and interest for patent infringement;
  3. Award Freedom Scientific treble damages for the willful infringement of the ‘707 patent;
  4. Award Freedom Scientific its reasonable attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285;and
  5. Award Freedom Scientific such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.


Freedom Scientific demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

Respectfully submitted, FREEDOM SCIENTIFIC, INC.

Dated: July 15,2008

Case Summary and Attorneys from Court Filing

8:08-cv-01365-JDW-TBM Freedom Scientific, Inc. v. GW Micro, Inc.

James D. Whittemore, presiding

Thomas B. McCoun III, referral

Date filed: 07/15/2008

Date of last filing: 07/21/2008

Office: Tampa

Filed: 07/15/2008

Jury Demand: Plaintiff

Nature of Suit: 830

Cause: 35:145 Patent Infringement

Jurisdiction: Federal Question

County: Pinellas

Origin: 1

Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Michael John Colitz, III

Phone: 813/227-6598

Fax: 813/229-0134


Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Matthew B. Lowrie

Phone: 617/395-7000

Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Aaron W. Moore

Phone: 617/395-7000


Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Woodrow Heath Pollack

Phone: 813/227-8500


Defendant: GW Micro, Inc.

Categories: Uncategorized

Changes Afoot on Main Menu

July 14, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

The following note has been posted to ACB Radio public mailing lists by
Chrissie Cochrane, the station's managing director. I appreciate her good
words below. You can all be sure that, from time to time, we will be
providing content and making guest appearances on the show as we are able.

Hi Folks

It is with considerable regret that I have to announce that both Jeff Bishop
and Darrell shandrow are relinquishing both their production and hosting of
the now famous Main Menu show due to a steep increase in their other work
commitments. The first thing I want to do is thank both of them for their
hard work in both producing and hosting the show which has gone from
strength to strength during their tenure.

I am also open to offers for anyone who is willing to take on the task of
hosting and/or preparing this prestigious show. We need people who have a
good grounding in access technology, and a knowledge of streaming on the
internet. If people are interested, and have the time and the inclination
to take on this work, please write to me at I am
very open to ideas for any changes anyone may have to the format of the
show, after all, these things do not necessarily have to stay the same from
year to year, so as I say, if you are interested in either hosting the show,
or wish to be involved in its production, please write to me at

This is a chance for someone to make a name for themselves in the access
technology field, as during Jeff and Darrell's time with the show, the
listener figures have been increasing steadily, but don't let that put you
off. Of course they will be a hard double act to follow though I'm sure
there are people out there who have ideas and would like to see them put
into reality.

So, if you're interested, please write to me at and
let's start yet another era of first-class Main Menu shows.


Categories: Uncategorized

Coming up on Main Menu for the week of July 16 – The Icon and Our Panel of Experts

July 13, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
Coming up on this week’s Main Menu Live, we bring you two hours of brand new content. In the first hour, Marc Mulcahy from LevelStar tells us all about the Icon accessible pocket mobile manager and portable notetaker. We welcome your questions by e-mail to prior to the broadcast, or by way of calls and MSN (Windows Live Messenger) chats during the show. In the second hour, we bring you our panel of experts to discuss all things technology from a blindness perspective with emphasis on the recently concluded summer conventions. On this show, Jeff and I will be joined by Don Barrett, Randy Knapp, Debbie Hazelton and Caroline Congdon.
Jeff and I would also like to let all of you know that this episode represents our final appearances as host and co-host of Main Menu. We’re all going to connect and have a great time, so this is the show you will not want to miss!
Here is how to participate in the show:
The number to call into the show is 866-400-5333.
You may email your questions to:
You may also interact with the show via MSN (Windows Live) Messenger. The MSN Messenger ID to add is:
Would you like to interact with a group of Main Menu listeners about the topics heard on Main Menu and Main Menu Live? You can do this by joining the Main Menu Friends email list. The address to subscribe is:
Come join an already lively group of users.
Would you like to subscribe to podcast feeds for Main Menu and Main Menu Live? The RSS feeds to add to your podcatching application are:
Main Menu –
Main Menu Live –
For this next week, only the Main Menu Live podcast feed will be updated.
Main Menu can be heard on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific, and at 1 universal (GMT) on Wednesday mornings on the ACB Radio Main Stream channel.
Follow this link to listen to the show:
Our best wishes to all our loyal Main Menu listeners,
Jeff Bishop and Darrell Shandrow
The Main Menu Production Team
Categories: Uncategorized

Friends in Art Showcase to Air on ACB Radio

July 8, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Hello everyone,

Once again, ACB Radio is proud to provide exclusive live coverage of the
Friends in Art showcase from the ACB Convention. Join Chrissie Cochrane and
a team of ACB Radio broadcasters as they bring you a night of performances
by blind and vision impaired performers, live on stage at the convention in
Louisville Kentucky. The broadcast will get underway at or around 23:45
Universal, that's 7:45 pm US Eastern, and will probably run for something
like 3 hours.

We have set up a separate stream for this year's showcase. You will be able
to listen from the website or by clicking one of the following

Broadband stream for Winamp:
Broadband stream for Real Player:
Broadband stream for Windows Media player:
Broadband stream for other players:

Modem stream for Winamp:
Modem stream for Real PLayer:
Modem stream for Windows Media PLayer:
Modem stream for other players:

We hope you are enjoying our convention broadcasts and look forward to you
joining us for the Friends in Art Showcase, only on ACB Radio.

Categories: Uncategorized

Available for New Employment as of July 18

July 7, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This is just a quick note to all of you loyal Blind Access Journal readers to let you know that, as of July 18, my position with my current employer is being eliminated due to circumstances completely outside of my control. At that time, I will be available for contract or permanent employment. If you are interested in availing yourself of my services, or you have any ideas about how I may be able to acquire new employment, please send a note to and I will get back in touch with you right away. Thank you for reading.

Categories: Uncategorized

ACB 2008 Convention Podcast

July 7, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
This year we are proud to present our 2008 ACB National Convention podcast covering all the general sessions, the candidates’ forum and the banquet. Please visit to manually download these files or add to your favorite RSS reader or podcatching software to automatically download the files in their intended podcast form.
Once again, we at ACB Radio innovate when it comes to providing consumer organization summer convention coverage in the online connected blind community. We hope you are enjoying our broadcasts and are finding the information helpful.
Categories: Uncategorized

Exploring the AT&T Motorola Q9H Keyboard

July 5, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This is a short article covering how to find all the special keys on the Motorola Q9H phone. It is very much a work in progress. All feedback to is appreciated. Thanks go to Jeff Bishop’s son Brian for his assistance with several previously “unknown” keys.


Place the phone face up with the small QWERTY keyboard on the bottom. In this orientation, you should find the following items in order, from top to bottom:

  • Small round speaker representing the telephone receiver.
  • Large smooth display screen covering approximately three inches of the surface.
  • A set of tactile lines in a cross-like formation, followed by a circle with dots followed by a second set of cross-like lines.
  • The QWERTY keyboard.

Special Keys

The Motorola Q9H has a number of special keys that are not found on the traditional computer’s keyboard. These will be described in reference to the orientation provided above.

Soft Keys

The phone has a number of “soft keys” that perform special functions when pressed. It is important to know how to use these keys in order to do anything useful with the phone. The soft keys are located below the display screen and immediately above the QWERTY keyboard. They are tactilely differentiated using those cross-like sets of lines mentioned earlier. Remember, there is a set of cross-like lines on the left-hand side of the phone, followed by a raised circle with dots followed by another set of cross-like lines. It is critical to understand this configuration, as it is the basis for the following description. There are a total of 8 soft keys. Four of these keys are located on the cross-like structure on the left side of the phone, while the second group of four are located on the cross-like structure on the right side of the phone. For ease of reference, we will refer to the cross lines on the left side as the first quadrant and the cross lines on the right side as the second quadrant. The cross lines themselves are *not* the keys. Pressing on these lines won’t do anything. Instead, these lines help to differentiate the keys. Instead, the keys are immediately to the sides of these lines. The keys are “soft” meaning they are
made up of the phone’s smooth front surface and they may be defined to perform different functions, depending on the situation in which the phone is operating or the software program you are using at the time you press them. Each set of cross lines can be seen as a tactile X-Y graph. There is a soft key in the upper right-hand corner, another in the upper left-hand corner, a third in the lower left-hand corner and a fourth in the lower right-hand corner of the grid.
It should now be possible to fully describe the names and locations of these keys from a blindness perspective.

Let’s start with the first quadrant of cross-like lines, those on the left side of the phone.

  • Dial (Send) – The Dial key is pressed immediately after entering a telephone number in order to complete the call, much as it is on a traditional cell phone. Keep in mind it may also have other functions in different circumstances. The Dial key is located in the lower left-hand corner of the set of cross-like lines in the first quadrant (the left-hand side of the phone).
  • Home – The Home key performs many critical smartphone functions, most essentially for us it represents the MobileSpeak screen reader command key you press before many other keys to issue special accessibility related instructions. The Home key is located in the lower right-hand corner of the set of cross-like lines in the first quadrant (the left-hand side of the phone).
  • Left Soft Key – The Left Soft Key performs different functions depending on the situation. In many cases, it is used as an OK or Done button you may press to confirm that you want changes to be saved, etc. This operates in much the same way as the Continue, OK or Next buttons found in the dialogue boxes of many typical Windows applications. The Left Soft Key is located in the upper right-hand corner of the cross-like lines in the first quadrant (the left-hand side of the phone).
  • AT&T Symbol – This key activates the phone’s built-in default Opera Mobile web browser, pointing it to the AT&T web site. It is located in the upper left-hand corner of the cross-like lines in the first quadrant (the left-hand side of the phone).

We now move on to the second quadrant of cross-like lines; this set is located on the right side of the phone, to the right of the circle with the four tiny tactile dots.

  • Back – The Back key is most often used as its name suggests, to back out of actions you decide not to perform. It operates as a backspace key in any situation where you find yourself editing text, as well as a Back button in the Internet Explorer Mobile web browser. In many cases, it may also be used in a similar way as the Escape key is pressed on a computer’s keyboard to choose a cancel button in a dialogue box. The Back key is located in the lower left-hand corner of the set of cross-like lines in the second quadrant (on the right-hand side of the phone).
  • End – The End (hangup) key is used to do just that, conclude a phone call. If no call is in progress, it moves focus to the Today screen, which is similar to the Desktop on a Windows computer. The End key is located in the lower right-hand corner of the cross-like lines in the second quadrant (on the right-hand side of the phone).
  • Envelope (Mail) Symbol – This key may enable the user to quickly open their e-mail application, though we haven’t noticed that it does anything when pressed on our phones. It is located in the upper right-hand corner of the cross-like lines in the second quadrant (on the right-hand side of the phone).
  • Right Soft Key – The Right Soft Key performs many different functions, depending on the situation or the application you’re using at the moment. In some cases, it operates as a cancel key, while in other cases, it opens a menu. The Right Soft Key is located in the upper left-hand corner of the cross-like lines in the second quadrant (on the right-hand side of the phone).

The Circle

The Circle is a special grouping of five keys located between the first and second sets of cross-like lines. They consist of up, down, left and right arrows and an enter (select) key. Careful exploration will indicate that the circle contains four small, tactile dots. These dots reside on each of the arrow keys, which are located in a logical position representing their direction of navigation. The middle of this circle contains a smaller, slightly raised round key. This is the Enter (select) key. It is used to select choices in menus, as a real enter key when entering text in some scenarios and in many other cases where one might press Enter on a computer’s keyboard.

QWERTY Keyboard

The QWERTY keyboard is a grouping of 37 keys found immediately below the soft keys and the circle. It enables entry of all alphanumeric characters as well as punctuation using a special Function key. The keyboard does not include a numbers row as would be found on a typical computer keyboard. Entry of numbers is described shortly. There is a tactile dot on the f key. Given the compressed nature of this keyboard, it is potentially useful to list out each key by row from top to bottom and left to right, with the first row representing the top of the keyboard, as found immediately below the soft keys and the circle.

  • Row 1: q, w, e, r, t, y, u, i, o, p
  • Row 2: a, s, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, Enter
  • Row 3: Function, z, x, c, v, b, n, m, . (period), Shift (Caps)
  • Row 4: Calendar, Contacts, 0, Space Bar, Music, Camera, Speaker

The space bar is slightly domed and elongated in comparison to the other keys.

Entering Numbers

As we have already observed, the QWERTY keyboard in this phone does not include a separately defined numbers row. This situation is an unfortunate side-effect of the phone’s small size, though we are rather impressed with the keyboard in general given this constraint. Numbers are entered using a specific set of keys, preceeded by the Function key. For instance, pressing Function followed by f would enter the number 5. The keys assigned to numbers are as follows:

  • e, r, t = 1, 2, 3
  • d, f, g = 4, 5, 6
  • X, C, V = 7, 8, 9
  • The number 0 is entered by pressing the Function key followed by the key immediately to the left of the space bar.

Dialing the Phone!

Of course, the most important thing we want to do with our phones right away is to dial. Dialing is performed from the phone’s Today screen using the number keys previously indicated without preceding them with the Function key. When the Today screen has focus, it is assumed that you wish to dial rather than enter text. Follow these steps to place a call:

  1. Press the End key to ensure the Today screen has focus.
  2. Enter the numbers without using the function key. For example, press g, e, e to enter 611, which is usually the number used to contact the service provider.
  3. Press the Dial key to place the call.
  4. The numbers will continue to work without the Function key while you are on the call.
  5. Press the End key to hang up.

Simply press the Dial (Send) key to answer an incoming call.

This document completes the exploration of all the keys found on the front of the Motorola Q9H smartphone. Just as it is critical to know how to type before one can use a computer, it is essential and highly recommended to thoroughly learn the location of all these keys before delving into the use of this phone and MobileSpeak.

Categories: tips

ACB Radio 2008 Convention Coverage Schedule

July 5, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
We’re gearing up for another great year of ACB Convention coverage! In addition to exhibit hall coverage on our Interactive stream and complete live broadcasts of the general sessions on Mainstream, we will also be featuring the Friends in Art Showcase and lots of content from Guide Dog Users, Inc. All times listed are approximate and are subject to change with little or no notice.
We start with our exhibit hall coverage on ACB Radio Interactive. Review our schedule below and visit to listen live:
Saturday: 17 to 21 GMT (1 pm to 5 pm Eastern)
Sunday: 13 to 21 GMT (9 am to 5 pm Eastern)
Monday: 15 to 21 GMT (11 am to 5 pm Eastern)
Tuesday: 15 to 21 GMT (11 am to 5 pm Eastern)
Wednesday: 15 to 21 GMT (11 am to 5 pm Eastern)
Thursday: 13 to 17 GMT (9 am to 1 pm Eastern)
We begin our general session coverage on Sunday evening. Please see for the official agenda. It all happens on ACB Radio Mainstream. Review the schedule below and visit to listen live.
Sunday 22:30 GMT (6:30 pm Eastern): Sunday general session
Monday 3 GMT (11 pm Eastern): Sunday session replays
Monday 12 GMT (8 am Eastern): Monday general session
Monday 17 GMT (1 pm Eastern): Monday session replays
Tuesday 12 GMT (8 am Eastern): Tuesday general session
Tuesday 17 GMT (1 pm Eastern): Tuesday session replays
Wednesday 12 GMT (8 am Eastern): Wednesday general session
Wednesday 17 GMT (1 pm Eastern): Wednesday session replays
Thursday 12 GMT (8 am Eastern): Thursday general session
Thursday 17 GMT (1 pm Eastern): Thursday session replays
Thursday 22:45 GMT (6:45 pm Eastern): Candidates’ Forum
Friday 2:00 GMT (10:00 pm US Eastern): Thursday general session plus candidates’ forum replays
Friday 12 GMT (8 am Eastern): Friday morning general session
Friday 17 GMT (1 pm Eastern): Friday afternoon general session
Friday 21:30 GMT (5:30 pm Eastern): Friday general session replays
Friday 23:00 GMT (7:00 pm Eastern): ACB Annual Banquet
Saturday 2:00 GMT (10:00 pm Eastern): Friday sessions plus banquet replays
Sunday midnight GMT (8 pm Eastern): Entire convention replays
The Friends in Art showcase is scheduled to begin at 8 pm Eastern (midnight GMT).  We will probably begin our
broadcast at 23:45 GMT (7:45 pm Eastern).  Please stay tuned for listening details.
This year we’ll also be taking a feed from Guide Dog Users Inc. and their daily broadcasts.  This will be run on ACB Radio World, Sunday to Thursday from 23 GMT to 03:30 GMT, that’s 7 pm to 11:30 pm Eastern.  Here is an excerpt from one of their Emails which explains the programming further:
This will be our third year broadcasting the GDUI events and other material from the summer convention. Our broadcasts include replay of the daily events and workshops, interviews with special guests of interest in the guide dog community, listener interaction through call-in and email and special reports from throughout the convention. Visit to listen.
We are looking forward to bringing the blind community another year of fantastic ACB Convention coverage! We thank you for listening.
Best wishes,
Darrell Shandrow
ACB Radio Co-Webmaster
Categories: Uncategorized

Delphi Programmer Says Freedom Scientific Does Not Play Nice with the Mainstream Developer Community

July 3, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We already know that Freedom Scientific’s JAWS end user license agreement is not friendly to mainstream developers and testers as they work to implement accessibility into their products, services and web sites. As a follow on to this concern, we now hear from Craig Stuntz who reports that no developer program exists for those who have purchased JAWS for this critical purpose. In his most recent blog article, he writes:

One would think that the makers of JAWS would want software producers to test their products with JAWS. But according to a salesperson for Freedom Scientific, there is no developer program for the tool. JAWS is moderately expensive — about $900 — but this is not a barrier for us. What we would really like is to have access to a defect reporting system for JAWS and early access to future versions of the software.

We in the connected online blind community very much do want to see developers striving to improve the accessibility of their applications! The accessibility or inaccessibility of technology makes the difference between our inclusion or exclusion from participation in critical life activities such as those involving education and employment. We urge mainstream developers to continue their efforts using screen readers from companies and open source projects that actively invite and request participation from the mainstream developer community:

We ask all mainstream developers to increase the accessibility of their software and to do so in the most favorable economic manner. Spending a thousand dollars on a screen reader for testing purposes is unnecessary. Download free evaluation copies from companies with more friendly license agreements toward developers or take advantage of free open source alternatives. Accessibility need not break the bank. We’re not asking you to go out of business. Instead, we are just asking for the reasonable accomodations that can afford us the opportunity to learn, work and participate in leisure activities.

Digital Television and Video Description: Service Continues, Consumer and Industry Efforts Required

July 3, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

The WGBH – Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media
(NCAM) has published a new Outreach and Policy Paper, Digital Television and
Video Description: Service Continues, Consumer and Industry Efforts Required

Most consumers are just now becoming aware of the mandated transition from
analog to digital broadcasting scheduled for February of 2009 and how it
will affect the TV viewing that they rely on daily. Blind or deaf consumers
who purchase digital TV sets, and subscribe to cable, satellite or
fiber-optic TV services have expressed frustration with set-up, reception
and incompatibility problems regarding access services (captioning and video
description), few of which are understood or even documented by
manufacturers and retailers.

In addition, people who want to continue receiving free over-the-air
broadcasts using their analog sets and an antenna must purchase a set-top
converter box to do so – and figure out how to make captions and
descriptions work for them. NCAM previously published an overview of
problems confronting deaf or hard-of-hearing people trying to access
captions via DTV or through a converter box. The "DTVCC" paper can be found
on NCAM's Web site listed below.

This new paper focuses on challenges facing blind or low vision viewers who
rely on video description to enjoy and fully understand television
programming. Topics covered include:

– Set-top Converter Boxes
– Accessible Menus
– Tips for Finding Video Description in DTV
– Troubleshooting
– and a Technical Note about PSIP (or Program and System Information

This paper, along with much more information about the DTV conversion from a
variety of resources, can be found at NCAM's DTV Access site, or

We want to hear from you…
NCAM has established a one-way e-mail address,, as an
aggregator of complaints and problems related to the DTV rollout. If you
send a report about a DTV access problem to this address, you will receive
an automatic response that says that your report has been received and that
we are gathering information but cannot respond to your inquiry, and that we
will pass along common issues to relevant parties.

Mary Watkins
Director of Communications and Outreach
Media Access Group at WGBH
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
617 300-3700 v/fax
617 300-2489 TTY

WGBH Boston informs, inspires, and entertains millions through public
broadcasting, the Web, educational multimedia, and access services for
people with disabilities.

Categories: Uncategorized