BananaFish - 1:08 pm on Jun 15, 2007 (gmt 0)
These patents are ridiculous as will as frivolous. They are specifically applied to things things that cannot legally be patented (ideas). But since they involve "technology", they are granted by the not so tech-savvy USPO. Can you imagine these types of patents applied offline? A patent on the "express checkout" at the grocery store. A patent on the "red-tag" sales sticker. But if it's done in a virtual environment an idea is somehow patentable? Just add the word "electronically" to anything and it can be patented. Then you can hope to sue some deep pocketed company like ebay, if they "infringe" on your patent. Or you can take the approach of suing several small companies that don't have deep pockets for lawyers and hope to get a number of settlements. Only in the good old US, can you have a business model based upon litigation.