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A small Virginia company in a patent fight with eBay Inc. asked a federal judge Tuesday to stop the online auction powerhouse from using its "Buy It Now" feature allowing shoppers to buy items at a fixed price.
A federal jury found in 2003 that eBay had infringed Great Falls-based MercExchange LLC's patent. But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to patent-reform advocates when it ruled that MercExchange was not automatically entitled to a court order blocking the offending service.
eBay in Patent Dispute Over 'buy it now' Button [smh.com.au]
If the combination results from nothing more than “ordinary innovation” and “does no more than yield predictable results,” the court said in a unanimous opinion, it is not entitled to the exclusive rights that patent protection conveys. “Were it otherwise,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion, “patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts.”
For no-one would think to do this themselves and so if they do they must have gotten the idea from me.
Stop the insanity! (Wait can I say that without paying that bald lady?)
We need a serious review of what can be patented or not... this is reaching levels of ridiculousness so great that soon every time you come up with an efficient solution in code someone will be pointing to their patent of that process.
Members of "PATENT REFORM NOW", a loosely formed group of software developers who claim patents on obvious functionality stifle new software from reaching the market have been shut down as a judge ruled the term "PATENT REFORM NOW" infringes on a patent held by a software company which developed a web based poll specifically designed to elicit people's thoughts on whether there should or should not be any change to the current patent approval process.
Post of the day!
I am still laughing over this.
"Method and Apparatus for Recalling Constitutional Amendments"
...why limit yourself to the U.S.
It sounds funny.. but I remember when "West Law" sued over lawyers and courts citing numbered pages in courthouse records -- in effect, by selling legal stationary and record books, West established a method and apparatus for recording (public) legal information and held that nobody could use the system without paying them.