And, now, it's time for our silly patent of the day. Apparently, some firm claims to have received a patent in 2001 for playing games on a network (stop laughing) and describes the playing of many popular solitaire-type games. You might recognize these games, since they are commonly found on computers around the world and clearly date from a time well before 1998 when the patent was filed. The company that owns these patents is now beginning to send nasty letters to shareware developers who have created applications they claim infringe on this patent. Not surprisingly, they haven't yet gone after Microsoft - who has been offering up such games since well before this patent was ever dreamed of. Of course, it brings up the issue (again) of why this patent was ever granted. Just because you take something from real life (playing solitaire) and put it on a computer, does not make it patentable. It's no surprise that we've got yet another patent that never should have been granted, but it does reinforce that the patent system needs to be reformed.
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