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It’s hard to decide which is worse: the breathtaking triviality of the patent, or the idea that Google doesn’t just want to see your fridge, it wants to track changes of ownership.
The patent in question, US 8,091,772, was granted on January 10, part of a clutch winding its way through to publication in the last fortnight to plant the tech sector’s – and Mountain View’s – flag in ever-more everyday activities.
This patent, entitled “Automated appliance registration”, adds a new layer of creepiness to moves to wrap property like refrigerators into the same click-wrap, one-sided, DMCA-protected embrace of the tech sector. Even the simple business of flogging last year’s model on eBay becomes the property of The Chocolate Factory.
the card automatically collects information about the appliance and its owner, and transmits the collected information to a remote manufacturer or seller for registering the appliance