Because Without The Patent System No One Would Ever Think To Barter Online

from the well,-why-not? dept

Just yesterday we were discussing why societies tended to move away from bartering and to a monetary-based transaction system because it was more efficient. Specifically, we were discussing why the idea behind Peerflix and the multitude of other online bartering sites seem unlikely to become particularly compelling businesses. However, there was one other point, not covered in the original article on Peerflix's move away from a strict barter site. It appears that the company is excited to start enforcing a patent it recently bought that covers method of exchanging goods over the internet. Effectively, the patent covers a computer-based bartering system. It takes the concept of bartering, puts it on a network, and voila, it's suddenly patentable, despite thousands upon thousands of years of history concerning how barter systems work. The fact that there have been a ton of online bartering companies over the years apparently isn't evidence enough that this is hardly a "non-obvious" idea. But, of course, now that Peerflix owns the patent, they might as well use it: "There would be no reason to own the patent unless we intended to flex our muscles around it," claims the company's CEO. Given the failure of the company's original business model (similar to the failures of every other bartering-based business models) this looks like yet another case of failed companies falling back on patent lawsuits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 12:59pm

    seriously, the female elf in the balmora's mage guild doesn't know a thing about bartering... :P

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    A broken patent system for a broken idea. Makes perfect sense.

     

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  3.  
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    PhysicsGuy needs a hug, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    Oh sure myspace is for losers but MMO/D&D is for rock stars.

     

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  4.  
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    PhysicsRockstarGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re:

    myspace is for egotistical losers. us d&d type are of a different breed all together. we're far lower on the scale of pathetic, self-centered, egotistical, narcissistic, "there's no life outside the high school mentality"-"you're only as important as the superficial friends you have" person. :)

     

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  5.  
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    PhysicsRockstarGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    people*

     

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  6.  
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    AMP, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Physics guy, from what I have read of your posts in the past, you are plenty egotistical enough to have your very own myspace page. You might as well go ahead and convert.

     

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  7.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you forgot ignorant...

    Oh look, there you are calling people names again.

     

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  8.  
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    Stephen, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:46pm

    Who are they going to collect from? The other failed/failing barter companies?

     

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  9.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    They're gonna do the same thing that every other patent hoarder does. They will hold onto the patent until someone else gets it right...and then sue them into oblivion. And now that peerflix has the patent they think they no longer have to actually work on the system of bartering online. Why else would you move away from a method and the go back and patent it.

    A warning to anyone working on a way to barter onlinne, Peerflix's lawyers have their eyes and ears open and actively looking for anyone that starts anything close to an online bartering busness.

     

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  10.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 1:59pm

    MySpace

    The measure of a mans importance is not the number of his friends, but the number of his enemies.

    see also:

    A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

    I forgot both the sources :/

     

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  11.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re:

    "Peerflix's lawyers have their eyes and ears open and actively looking for anyone that starts anything close to an online bartering busness.'

    Given that it costs a few pennies to register a domain and 10 minutes to knock up a plausible website, doesn't anybody see a way of scamming them? I mean, why get all ethical about it, the so called patent speaks for itself. :)

    Having said that, it contains 51 parametric conditionals summarised in 7 flowcharts necessarily requiring a database of pre-existing members, an elaborate negotiation system and criteria matching procedure and only applies to books, DVDs, games and the like. It is suboptimal in two important respects and contains at least one error.

    In short, it's a crock, and anybody with an IQ in double figures could "invent" a better barter method.

    What is cool is that it shows exactly how NOT to implement a working system since we know the company behind it failed, and not to employ Donna R. Moore to "invent" any software for you.

     

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  12.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Dec 19th, 2006 @ 2:42pm

    My bartering commodities

    I have been bartering small, rectangular, green pieces of paper with US presidents on them that have a certain value for various other items of some 'value' on the internet for quite some time now.

     

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  13.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    interesting, point me to some of these egotistical posts. from what i recall most of my posts are about technical side rants from the article in question, the rest are like my first post here... i wasn't aware i had any posts, aside from the few here and the times people make direct attacks towards me, that were directly about myself. in fact, i try to bring as little attention as i can towards myself and try to focus on knowledge and ideas (except when i'm being random, but then that isn't about myself either). i could be wrong about this of course, so please, point me towards those egotistical posts.

    it's also interesting i made a friend... :) bumbling old guy likes to call me ignorant but doesn't like to provide proof of said ignorance (i'd almost think he was ignorant about the meaning of the word :x) :)

     

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  14.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 3:32pm

    i stand corrected. i realize i tend to point out that i used to program in my youth and was part of the initial phishing trend on aol when i was like 12... i'm sorry, that's certainly equivalent to having a web page dedicated to me.

     

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  15.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    bumbling old guy likes to call me ignorant

    Only when you go off spouting your uninformed OPINION as if it were fact and pre-flaming anyone who doesnt agree with you.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    interesting... i wasn't aware that i was uninformed. sure, the myspace comments are opinion, but they're certainly not uninformed as i have to deal with myspace users all the time while waiting for a computer to print out any exposition i might need to hand in which i couldn't previously print. see... there's this nifty place i go to actually study computer technologies, physics and math. it's called college. i recommend it for yourself. it would do you wonders.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Been there, done that. You see, I actually work for a living. As a business analyst.

    At the ISP.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bumbling old fool, those Microsoft certification courses weren't really "college" level stuff, despite what they may have told you.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 7:19am

    i can't wait till my patent on suing people over very vague, broad patents comes through. granted i know that there's some prior art but i don't think that will hold it up much.

     

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