Microsoft Patents Making A List For Santa

from the but-not-checking-it-twice dept

theodp writes "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But making a list for him may now constitute patent infringement. USPTO officials were busy over the holidays wrapping up the paperwork to grant Microsoft its wish for a patent on the Wish List, which was issued to the software giant on New Year's Day." Admittedly, the actual patent goes into a bit more detail than theodp's summary. It involves making a wishlist that goes beyond just a single store, which can include categories rather than just products and which also pulls in additional shopping info. Even with that additional info, it's difficult to see why this is deserving of a patent, as it really just seems to be combining a bunch of things that were easily done before online -- and we had thought that the Patent Office had issued new guidelines, as per the Supreme Court's ruling, to avoid such combinations.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jason Still, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 10:44am

    well, that sucks...

    I have, quite literally, had something like this on the drawing board (on the wall across from my desk) as a feature of a larger web-based product for months. I haven't had the time to work on that project due to other priorities, and I'm guessing now I might was well give up on it. It never occurred to me that something so obvious could/would/should be patented.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Santa, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 10:45am

    WTF

    WTF. I'm suing.
    I've been using this for the last 2000 years.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Fred Grainger, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Micro$oft is out of control

    I hope with the flop of Vista, the underhanded blocking of old document formats in Office 2003, and the other crapware that Microsoft is putting out, that the company self destructs. I'm so sick of their greed I am about to become a Apple customer.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 10:59am

    Re: Micro$oft is out of control

    haha.

    u think Apple isn't greedy?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Patent Trolls, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Self-protection

    I think many of these patents filed by the likes of Apple, IBM, M$ is in response to patent trolls suing for infringement on even the most obvious incremental changes. I feel they file these mainly to protect themselves from predatory lawsuits.

    That being said, this patent seems to do the same things as any content aggregation site. Sites like pricegrabber allow you to shop by product or category from multiple sources; and it includes product info., manufacturer data, user reviews, store information, etc. Seems like prior art to me.

     

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  6.  
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    Derrick Hinkle, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Apple may be greedy, but at least they give their customers what they want, and give them some respect.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re: WTF

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:25am

    I wonder what this means for sites like mylistwatcher.com

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: WTF

    Nice argument.

    Anyway, this is actually the most legit patent idea I've heard in a while. Not that it should be patentable, but compared to the other ones...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Re: WTF

    This should have failed on prior art. I have made lists when I was youth referencing which catalog I found something for the Hogfather's benefit.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Joe, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Protection

    I agree that it is only a measure that microsoft is taking to prevent another lawsuit. If they don't patent it some other no name company will and then will sue them for using it.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Bobby Cannon, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Micro$oft is out of control

    What makes you think Vista is a flop?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Micro$oft is out of control

    Nobody wanting to use it in an enterprise setting...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Micro$oft is out of control

    What makes you think Vista is a flop?

    The security measures taken to patch the defective security model in the earlier versions of Windows are an exercise in frustration for the user. That and the minimum two gigs of ram you need to run it.

    But if you want something that will really reduce users to screaming frustration you need to try the new versions of Microsoft Office where key functions are hidden behind what appears simply to be a logo.

    That said, after the EOLAS farce, I do not blame Microsoft for patenting every possible little detail. Even if the patent is rejected, the application creates a formal record of prior art at the time of filing.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    Another is thethingsiwant.com

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Nobody Important, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re:

    I am sure the EFF will be on this one shortly. I don't think MSFT is the first to have come up with this idea, and certainly is not the first to implement it.

     

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  17.  
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    Josh Jacob, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    there's also, wishbin.com

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Tom, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 7:07pm

    And don't forget

    Wow, Wishlist.com has been around for a while, doesn't that count as prior art. Maybe they should have copyrighted the name.

    Tom

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 3rd, 2008 @ 8:16pm

    I want to patent the idea of breathing, then everyone will have to pay me if they want to continue living.

    What? It's no more stupid than any other of the roughly 2 million idiotic patents companies have filed for recently.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Ban Software Patents, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 4:30pm

    This is terrible

    So now all we have to do to be technology tycoons is go to law school and file as many software patents as we can? We don't need to write good software anymore? Hurray for software patents. Let's keep ripping off people that actually have to WORK for a living. That's who gets hurt in the end. That's why I'm $2450 poorer and own a bunch of JUNK that doesn't work right or at all.

     

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  21.  
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    marrya, Mar 6th, 2008 @ 10:08am

    lip stisc

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    How is WishList.com not prior art?

    How is WishList.com not prior art?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    This is a test.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    This is another test.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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