Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations

from the obviousness-is-dead dept

theodp writes "Having already been burned by Amazon's 1-Click patent, one imagines Barnes & Noble will be fuming to learn that the USPTO granted Amazon a patent Tuesday covering the use of Barnes and Noble's physical stores to fulfill orders placed for used goods on Amazon. The e-tailer was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,702,545 for its System and Method for Facilitating Exchanges Between Buyers and Sellers, legal-speak for arranging a place to meet to exchange cash for used goods ordered online. From the patent: 'In an exemplary embodiment, buyers and sellers are permitted to designate exchange locations in the system 100. An exchange location may be a location that the user regularly visits. For example, users may designate locations such as health clubs, schools, coffee shops, book stores, and so on, as acceptable exchange locations.'"


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  1.  
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    Big_Mike (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 4:27am

    How do I get in this Patent craze? I want a patent for washing your hands before you go to the restroom and then in turn not peeing on your hands. This way any guy who doesn't wash his hands after using the restroom MUST be infringing on my patent. I'll take them to court, I really will.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 4:46am

    This should get the examiner fired. Just ridiculous beyond belief.

     

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  3.  
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    Coyote, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Craigslist, anyone?

    and well before that, the classifieds in your local paper?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    I think every craigslist prostitute has prior art on this one.

     

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  5.  
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    abc gum, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    Unbelievable

    EBAY:
    "The online auction website was founded as AuctionWeb in San Jose, California, on September 3, 1995"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay

    THIS PATENT:
    "This application is an application claiming the benefit under 35 USC 119(e) of U.S. Prov. Pat. App. 60/715,255, filed Sep. 8, 2005, entitled "System and Method for Facilitating Exchanges Between Buyers and Sellers,""

    Is the USPTO really this out of touch with the real world?
    This appears to be an actionable offense, possibly criminal.

     

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  6.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    Re:

    Drawn and quartered.

     

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    jeanricard broek, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    This is broader then imagined.

    note: The location does not have to be a physical location, therefore this covers all web offerings , but can be virtual, ie: voice, video enabled virtual exchange. "Interactive screen displays are provided to the users by way of the Internet. The interactive screen displays are configured to provide the potential users with information regarding the one or more items desired to be exchanged." Does not sound like you look at the actual item in a coffesshop.
    "The foregoing description of embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principals of the invention and its practical application to enable one skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. "

     

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  8.  
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    Jimr (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Prior Art

    Lets see... flee markets, the city market from thousands of years ago.

    How can I word it so I can patent breathing?

     

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  9.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:46am

    IM gonna patent the following

    undoing a mechanical device in the excreting of liquids
    ( all of you that henceforth unzip pants and pee OWE ME MONEY )
    and all pants makers will be required to pay me license fees for this novel invention

    Causing of methane in an enclosed area to rise up and be moved out a ventilation shaft while a being is sitting down[in case one day aliens get in on patents].
    ( all of you henceforth taking a crap and having that vent on will now OWE ME money , and the toilet makers and bathroom makers must now pay me a license fee )

    Causing a Loud sound at high altitude for the safety of young children.

    ( henceforth anyone above the ground floor yelling at there kids or ON a school bus will be required to pay me money)

    BOY at this rate I too can be a lazy shit and make millions.

    AGAIN PROVING THAT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS LITERALLY FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE
    This should be renamed to
    UNINTELLIGIBLE STUPIDITY ( US )
    US only requires YOU, and YOUR MONEY.
    US does not require you to have any say.
    US requires payment and does nothing for YOU, THEM, OR ANYONE.
    --------------
    patenting breathing
    a method to input or expel air to and from a device that can expand and contract( lungs?)

     

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  10.  
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    jeanricard broek, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    This is broader then imagined.

    The location does not have to be a physical location, therefore this covers all web offerings , but can be virtual, ie: voice, video enabled virtual exchange. "Interactive screen displays are provided to the users by way of the Internet. The interactive screen displays are configured to provide the potential users with information regarding the one or more items desired to be exchanged." Does not sound like you look at the actual item in a coffeehouse.
    "The foregoing description of embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principals of the invention and its practical application to enable one skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. "

     

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  11.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Prior Art

    The courts don't care about prior art anymore. All they care about is saving face.

    Once one idiot examiner calls it a patent, it's done.

    I sure hope the Supreme Court catches wind of this, and does Bilsky right...

     

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  12.  
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    Speaker, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Sears

    I guess Sears needs to pay Amazon for the 120+ years of mail order (and later online) catalog business for delivery to home or store. That's got to be worth a few bucks. Wish I could be as innovative as Amazon.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Someone sounds Corrupt.

     

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  14.  
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    Josef, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Re: Prior Art

    A system and method for the bio-mechanical exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide within the lungs. Applicable to all life forms that possess lungs.

    Since it cannot be proven that God exists and I did grow my lungs since my birth an no one has patented this process, I am seeking patent protection for the aforementioned process and all bio-electrochemical hardware.

    Once this gets through I only require a licensing fee of $.01 per person using this system and method and an further fee of $.05 from any persons or corporations owning animals that use this system and method.

    I am laying no claim for trademark on the name for the process.

     

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  15.  
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    Mike Brown, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Read the claims, folks...

    Look, we can argue forever about whether or not this patent is particularly significant, but once again this discussion seems to be degenerating into "look at the boilerplate which says there are lots of options - I want a patent on breathing!"

    It's the CLAIMS which define what a patent covers, not the broad descriptions and general boilerplate in the specification. The main claim in this patent is:
    -----
    1. A computer-implemented method for facilitating exchanges of items, comprising: receiving information from users who are potential sellers of items such that, for each potential seller, the information includes an indication of an item that the potential seller desires to sell and a selection of one or more exchange locations at which the potential seller is willing to meet with prospective buyer users to provide the item, the one or more exchange locations selected by the potential seller each being a publicly accessible location that is not a retail business selling the item indicated by the potential seller; receiving information from users who are potential buyers of items such that, for each potential buyer, the information includes an indication of a type of item that the potential buyer desires to purchase and a selection of one or more exchange locations at which the potential buyer is willing to meet with prospective seller users to receive an item of the indicated type, the one or more exchange locations selected by the potential buyer each being a publicly accessible location that is not a retail business selling the type of item indicated by the potential buyer; under control of one or more configured computing systems, and after the receiving of the information from the users who are the potential sellers and the receiving of the information from the users who are the potential buyers, automatically analyzing the information received from the potential sellers and from the potential buyers to identify potential matches between the potential buyers and the potential sellers, the potential matches each including one of the potential sellers and one of the potential buyers and being identified at least in part by identifying an exchange location that was previously selected by both the one potential buyer and the one potential seller; and for each of the identified potential matches, notifying the one potential seller and the one potential buyer for the identified potential match of the identified exchange location that was selected by both the one potential buyer and the one potential seller, so as to facilitate a potential purchase at the identified exchange location by the one potential buyer of the item indicated by the one potential seller.
    ---------
    Note the restrictions: This doesn't cover buying a used book on Amazon and picking it up at Barnes and Noble, or ordering from the Sears catalog and picking up at a store - in fact, that's explicitly NOT covered by the claim. The location has to be someplace "that is not a retail business selling the type of item indicated by the potential buyer/seller".

    If you want to boil this patent down to the extreme, it basically covers a system where seller Q puts an entry in a database saying, "I want to sell X, and I'll meet someone to hand it over at locations Y, Z, A and B (where none of these are places which sell X)". Buyer R puts an entry in saying, "I want to buy X, and I'm willing to pick it up at C, D, E and Z (where, once again, none of these are places which sell X)". The computer sees that Buyer R wants to buy what Seller Q wants to sell, and looks to see if there's a commonality between where Seller Q is willing to deliver and where Buyer R is willing to pick up. There is - site Z. The system notifies Q and R that they can meet at Z and exchange X.

    Now, that may or may not be commercially viable or worthwhile, but if we're going to worry about prior art, it doesn't describe any prior art system I know about.

     

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  16.  
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    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Patent is not that broad pinheads

    Hey pinheads, the granted claim 1 (see below) is not nearly as broad as suggested in the article:

    It requires a seller to submit info re items willing to sell and public exchange locations willing to meet potential buyers. Also requires buyers to submit items they wish to buy and public locations they are willing to meet. The computer-based system then matches buyers with sellers based on items and locations.

    Classified ads never did that for me.

    Craiglists never did that for me.

    Ebay never did that to me.

    I'm not available of anyone doing. Moreover, I'm happy using Ebay and Craiglists and don't give a rats ass about this business model. However, if they gain traction, will likely take a look.

    That said, the claims don't cover what's suggested in the article and comments. Starbucks and Barnes & Noble can sell used items, etc.

    you all don't know dick about how to read a patent so quite complaining until you do.





    1. A computer-implemented method for facilitating exchanges of items, comprising: receiving information from users who are potential sellers of items such that, for each potential seller, the information includes an indication of an item that the potential seller desires to sell and a selection of one or more exchange locations at which the potential seller is willing to meet with prospective buyer users to provide the item, the one or more exchange locations selected by the potential seller each being a publicly accessible location that is not a retail business selling the item indicated by the potential seller; receiving information from users who are potential buyers of items such that, for each potential buyer, the information includes an indication of a type of item that the potential buyer desires to purchase and a selection of one or more exchange locations at which the potential buyer is willing to meet with prospective seller users to receive an item of the indicated type, the one or more exchange locations selected by the potential buyer each being a publicly accessible location that is not a retail business selling the type of item indicated by the potential buyer; under control of one or more configured computing systems, and after the receiving of the information from the users who are the potential sellers and the receiving of the information from the users who are the potential buyers, automatically analyzing the information received from the potential sellers and from the potential buyers to identify potential matches between the potential buyers and the potential sellers, the potential matches each including one of the potential sellers and one of the potential buyers and being identified at least in part by identifying an exchange location that was previously selected by both the one potential buyer and the one potential seller; and for each of the identified potential matches, notifying the one potential seller and the one potential buyer for the identified potential match of the identified exchange location that was selected by both the one potential buyer and the one potential seller, so as to facilitate a potential purchase at the identified exchange location by the one potential buyer of the item indicated by the one potential seller.

     

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  17.  
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    Atkray (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Prior Art

    You may want to look into some carbon offsets first.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    1) Never been done before != non-obvious

    2) No one claimed that this would prevent B&N or Starbucks from selling used items.

    3) Starting with a silly insult (Bill O'Reilly, is that you?) doesn't help your point.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Read the claims, folks...

    yeah but the masnick wouldnt be able to have good moral outrage unless he tried to show how this affects non-related things. the reality is that this is a system to figure out where and when to meet people to exchange, not a system to sell things at a coffee shop. the masnick seems to often misinterpret and twist things to his benefit.

     

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  20.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:31am

    "It requires a seller to submit info re items willing to sell and public exchange locations willing to meet potential buyers. Also requires buyers to submit items they wish to buy and public locations they are willing to meet."

    Exactly like all discrete craigslist transactions ever.

    "I'm going to be at X ready to pay for Y"
    "I'm going to be at X ready to sell Y"
    "Send me pictures of your Y"
    ....

     

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  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re: Read the claims, folks...

    So the question is, how does this patent promote the progress of science and the useful arts? And unless Amazon has produced the product described in the patent, they've patented an idea, which supposed to be impossible.

     

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  22.  
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    Michael, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Read the claims, folks...

    Ok, going by your example:

    I am Q
    X is my car
    Y is within 5 miles of my zipcode
    Z, A, and B don't exist (just one place to meet)
    R is just some other person

    Prior art for this would be any online classified ad system (and many offline ones) that allowed you to search by zipcode.

    There is nothing specific in the patent description you have posted that indicates that the location has to be all that specific, the timeliness of the notifications, or by what means these notifications have to happen.

    Now, they may have been trying to patent a specific process that is somewhat unique (arguably obvious), but the patent itself is overly broad and can easily be read to encompass a lot of prior business activity.

    This is a sign that the patent examiner did not read it, is corrupt, or simply stupid. Regardless, this should be re-reviewed and rejected.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Prior Art

    "How can I word it so I can patent breathing?"

    "A method of of alleviating toxic overload by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

    There you go. Now go forth and patent breathing. Here is another one.

    "A method of alleviating toxic overload by releasing methane into the atmosphere."

    Guess what that patent is for?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Prior Art

    "A system and method for the bio-mechanical exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide within the lungs. Applicable to all life forms that possess lungs. "

    No no no no, it would be too obvious that this is breathing. You want to make it less obvious and more obscure, like what I had below. Yes, the below wording is obvious to you and I but it's less obvious than your descriptive wording.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Prior Art

    See, the trick here is to confuse the unsuspecting patent examiner into thinking that what you're proposing is somehow new and innovative by using fancy words.

    Here is another one.

    Someone asked

    "Does anyone have any IP on putting booze in a glass container?
    'Cause I'm interested in submitting a claim on that little bugger."

    Response:

    "A Method of improving the enjoyment of a liquidized luxury by transferring an alcoholic beverage into a silicon dioxide container."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100404/2113498869.shtml

    See, you have to confuse the patent examiner.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Prior Art

    See, when you mention the word "bio" or "life forms" or gas exchange, "exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide" you make it more obvious that you are referring to breathing. My method avoids these more obvious giveaways. Also notice how, with my other patent, I replace "glass" with "silicon dioxide." If the patent examiner has no idea what you are referring to s/he is more likely to grant a patent on the basis of mere cluelessness. So we all need to educate ourselves in these issues and find ways to get obvious patents by confusing the patent examiners into not understanding us.

     

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  27.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    Of course, if even one drop of pee gets on their hands, they don't violate your patent.

     

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  28.  
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    TAM Apprentice, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    But but... You're confusing what was obvious then and what is obvious now. Maybe it wasn't obvious then but it is obvious now!!!

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    hi mike.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re:

    I'm not mike.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Prior Art

    Here is another example.

    "A method of ventilating an aerial chamber by fluctuating the pressure of the contents inside."

    There you go.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Prior Art

    Or

    "A method of facilitating the ventilation of an aerial chamber by fluctuating the pressure of the contents inside."

     

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  33.  
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    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    Re 1, if never done before, it's novel. However, there's still a question of whether obvious. The standard for obviousness was changed dramatically in the Supreme Courts KSR case. Much more difficult to get a patent post-KSR vs before. However, in view of Craiglists and other "sell used stuff" being around for a while, it is a little different in how it works (matching buyers and sellers based on items and designated public meeting spots. However, might still be obvious.

    Re 2, On twitter I noticed many twits tweet something like:

    "Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations - http://bit.ly/dxk5l3 let's hope SCOTUS knows #bilski"

    It's a pile of BS. The patent clearly doesn't cover that. Surprised you're calling me Bill O'Reilly and not those spinsters.

    The patent claims are narrow and don't cover Classified Ads, consignment shops or Craigslist.

    3) Sorry for the pinhead remark, but hard to resist when so many comments are written by folks who don't have the attention span to read the claims, which define the patent right granted. So many tweeting a comment that has NO basis and so many comments from individuals how don't understand patents and make the time to read the patent claims. "I'm going to patent breathing", "Washing my hands before I pee", yada yada yada. So many pinhead is out of line. How do you refer to such folks?

    In politics, we (the vast middle) so similar statements on other topics from the far right and far left. Too many watching CNN or Fox News exclusively. And, as a result, clueless.

     

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  34.  
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    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Read the claims, folks...

    The claim requires the system receive from your Q items for sale and one or more "exchange location" (need to look at patent disclosure to see how that term is defined) and also receive from another user X items interested in buying AND proposed places to meet. And then the system matches buyers and sellers based on items and exchange locations.

    It's different from the Craigslist and Classified Ads I've used, but results in the same. For me, Craiglists works like a charm despite not matching me with buyers who listed the same "exchange locations". With Craiglist, I post something for sale and general location. Period. Some contacts and might work out a deal or place to me. Works great for me.

    So, this is a nonevent. If Amazon can turn this technology into a business model, then there's something to talk about. Before then, this patent merely covers a fairly specific way of matching buyers and sellers of used items.

    Regarding Examiner's, they have a limited time to completely review patents. Did he make a mistake? Who knows. There's might be prior art that knocks the broader or all the claims out. In the meantime, let's move on.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It doesn't matter. You know what they say, "if all you have is a troll, everything looks like a masnick."

    Paranoid-fueled narratives are funny.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    "Some contacts and might work out a deal or place to me"

    ....the others never get their shit?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    TAM, I understand you're a troll, but you're not the only one here. As far as everything looks like a Masnick, well, yes, everything looks reasonable compared to anything you say.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Read the claims, folks...

    The reason something like this hasn't been implemented is not because no one has a patent on it (it's not that patents facilitate innovation), but it's simply because it's not a helpful idea and the implementation of this idea doesn't really add much value because the systems we already have work perfectly fine. It's like getting a patent on a squared wheel to use with cars, well, that's fine, you can have a patent on it, but the reason why it hasn't been implemented isn't due to a lack of patents, it's because it's not a helpful idea.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Read the claims, folks...

    "In the meantime, let's move on."

    In the mean time, lets pretend that the patent is fine and lets avoid discussing the validity or merits of the patent because you said so. You don't want us to continue making the patent system look bad.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    "An exchange location may be a location that the user regularly visits. For example, users may designate locations such as health clubs, schools, coffee shops, book stores, and so on, as acceptable exchange locations.'"

    Thats what drug dealers have been doing for years.

     

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  41.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    Nice of you to search Twitter for dumb comments, and then accuse the community here of those arguments.

    RE: "Classified ads never did that for me."
    Yes they did. They historically were printed in local newspapers that corroborated the location of sellers with buyers. That's why national newspapers like the WSJ never had much of a classified section. So if I offer a car in the Flagstaff Half-Mast Daily, I have already defined a rough area of Flagstaff wherein I could meet a buyer.

    RE: "Craiglists never did that for me."
    Yes, it does. Any poster on Craigslist is asked to provide the location of the item for sale. The item is then "classfied" by location, and searchable as such. Buyers can search across locations, or just within one sector. Massage services go so far as to specify your home as the specific location within that region. While Craigslist doesn't specify the individual coffee shop, it does specify the individual town, or even section of a metro area in which the buyer and seller are willing to meet.

    RE: "eBay never did that to me."
    True, they tend to rely on national markets and shipping. Although they display the location of seller, it is not used effectively to match with buyer's location, and there is no expectation of a face-to-face transaction. I mention it here, because it stands out as the only one of the three cases you mentioned in which you appear to be correct.

    I refer you to Meatloaf rules: I want you. I need you. But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you. Now, don't be sad. But one outta three IS bad.

     

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  42.  
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    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    The claim doesn't recite any "location", but instead requires "exchange location". In the patent, it states:

    "In an exemplary embodiment, buyers and sellers are permitted to designate exchange locations in the system 100. An exchange location may be a location that the user regularly visits. For example, users may designate locations such as health clubs, schools, coffee shops, book stores, and so on, as acceptable exchange locations. Such exchange locations may be considered by the user to be a location that the user would agree to visit in order to conduct an exchange of a second-hand item."

    I wouldn't consider a "city" or "county" (typically what's posted in an item listed in Classified or Craigslist or ebay) to be an exchange location. As the term and the patent suggest, the location is specified so the parties can meet and exchange the item for sale. The generic locations don't do that.

    Do we need that functionality? No. I've got a motorcycle for sale in NYC, someone emails me and we work it out from there. Works perfectly. The need to specify an "exchange location" upfront doesn't seem necessary since there are starbucks and other suitable spots everywhere.

    So, the patent is not nearly as broad as the folks hear are suggesting.

    And, the invention claimed likely isn't that important.

    Here's the rabid anti-patent folks are crying wolf and yet again don't have a clue about patents and the right provided by patents.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    OK, your point is taken.

    But there isn't really much distinct difference between "place of business location" such as a gym or coffee shop and "general location" such as a town.

    A town could be a radius of, say 10 miles from a central point. A Gym could be a radius of say 150 yards from the center of the gym. But both define a location for the exchange, just the level of specific range is now smaller. Is that really different?

    Is it different enough to be non-obvious, and not a re-hash of the prior art?

    And if so, then could I not say the new Amazon patent is not really useful enough. I (hypothetically) offered a Spiderman Pez dispenser for sale at Club Sport in Pleasanton, CA, and failed to meet the buyer there because I waited at the front door, and he waited in the seating area near the squash courts.

    Jaded, I am now filing for a patent on a service that will arrange location between buyer and seller down to a 1 yard radius. Clearly this is a new idea, since the centuries-old classified ads only did it by city, the newer Amazon invention only does it by place. If the Amazon invention is different from the prior art, it is only a matter of precision. Thus, my invention of a method for matching up within spitting range is also unique and novel by a difference in precision.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "The generic locations don't do that."

    So the patent merely takes what existing services already have and prevents others from extending it. That's not going to help innovation, it will only hinder it. It's just another example of how patents prevent progress.

    Listing a bunch of locations for people to meet at is hardly a new idea and having a monopoly on listing more specific locations is hardly a patent worthy "innovation."

    "and yet again"

    What do you mean "again." It is only IP maximists that either have no clue or pretend to have no clue.

    'The need to specify an "exchange location" upfront doesn't seem necessary"

    and this is why it hasn't been done, not because of a lack of patents, but because of a lack of necessity. but if a situation ever comes up where it is necessary or if some service does find a way to implement it in a desirable manner where it is either necessary or beneficial to some people then this patent will merely stop them. If the necessity ever arises no patents are needed to implement this patented system and the patent will merely prevent its implementation.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "Here's the rabid anti-patent folks are crying wolf and yet again don't have a clue about patents and the right provided by patents."

    Besides, aren't patents supposed to be on designs and not ideas? This is yet another example of an idea based patent. We do have a clue as to the privileges that patents provide.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    ToasterPoster, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "Hey pinheads"

    That is as far I got.
    The rest is not worth reading.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    Fair enough. I apologize for the pinheads comment. Of course, free to pass on reading past the pinheads lead, but labeling the rest as "not worth reading" without reading is a close cousin to saying "Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations", which is clearly doesn't. But making that determination requires a paragraph worth of reading which is understandably a steep climb for some with ADD or with blinders on.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    op, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "'The need to specify an "exchange location" upfront doesn't seem necessary" and this is why it hasn't been done"

    Agreed. It's a narrow patent. Claims something that might be new and might also be nonobvious, but who cares as the claimed inventive feature doesn't appear to be needed. In fact, the vast majority of valid granted patents are never commercialized. Either too narrow, easily designed around or not relevant or ever needed. This might be one of those.

    My point is simply the patent doesn't cover selling used goods at Starbucks as the title of the article suggests. Its narrower, of questionable value in view of what's out there already and might even be obvious. Who cares?

    I'm against sham patents so when I see a title like that I think holy crap. But get chapped when it turns about to be incorrect.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    Many of these places do allow people to type in a zip code that they would like to seek a B&N at and that does give the specific location to create an exchange online. So, other than the fact that the patent explicitly excludes B&N and other private locations, the patent comes very close to covering what these stores already do. It merely makes it illegal for an individual to implement or use it without someone paying royalties to the patent holder or face potential litigation. That's not innovation, that's merely a restriction of my rights.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "But making that determination requires a paragraph worth of reading which is understandably a steep climb for some with ADD or with blinders on."

    So first you apologize for being a jerk and then you continue to be a jerk. Excellent show of character.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "I'm against sham patents"

    But that's what this is. It's not a patent that helps innovation, its merely a patent that restricts my rights. The only reason it hasn't been implemented, if it hasn't been implemented, isn't due to a lack of patents but it's due to the fact that the need for its implementation hasn't arisen. But if the need should arise this idea would be implemented without patents. The patent merely restricts our rights and is completely unneeded. and patents are only supposed to cover designs, not ideas, yet many patents seem to cover ideas instead. Coming up with ideas to patent is hardly innovation and it hardly constitutes patent worthy invention. Anyone can sit around and come up with ideas all day long, doesn't mean they deserve a patent.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads

    "In fact, the vast majority of valid granted patents are never commercialized."

    but then why do patent holders keep them if holding them has no value? They keep them because they have value and the value they have is to either

    A: Restrict others from implementing an idea that might compete with a product you already sell

    B: Have it for defensive purposes (ie: if someone sues you you can counter sue)

    C: Give the patent holder negotiation leverage (ie: cross licensing deals or lawsuit settlements)

    D: Sue others in case they accidentally infringe on your patent.

    None of these do anything to promote the progress. The constitution gives congress permission to grant monopolies in order to promote the progress and hence holding a patent and doing nothing with it is unconstitutional. If you have a patent and are doing nothing with it then it should automatically be nullified.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Patent is not that broad pinheads




    Re 2, On twitter I noticed many twits tweet something like:

    "Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations - http://bit.ly/dxk5l3 let's hope SCOTUS knows #bilski"

    It's a pile of BS. The patent clearly doesn't cover that. Surprised you're calling me Bill O'Reilly and not those spinsters.



    Actually, the patent does kind of cover that. I agree with you that the headline is misleading, ambiguously worded, and way too sensationalized.

    However, the fact of the matter is that this patent covers a (kinda vague) way of coordinating through a web interface, meeting up and selling used stuff at publicly accessible locations. It explicitly lists coffeeshops (Starbucks) and book stores (B&N) as examples of where people can meet up and perform these transactions.

    You're right in that, it doesn't only cover selling used stuff at bookstores and coffee, and it doesn't cover other ways of selling used stuff at coffee shops/book stores/etc.

    I guess, overall I agree with your point here, but *technically* the headline is correct. :/

    Some people may not have bothered to RTFA before getting all hysterical, but I think most people are upset because it's just another overly broad, useless, innovation-stifling patent in an already patent choked world.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    op, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    @comment 49 - No one comes close to doing what's defined in the patent claims. The claims don't restrict you and anyone rights unless you choose to infringe the narrow claims directed to a system that records a seller's items for sale AND proposed exchange locations AND a buyer's items seeking to buy AND the buyer's preferred exchange locations AND then matches those buyers and sellers to result in a meetup at a proposed exchange location.

    If anyone thinks Craigslist or Classified Ads or the like do this, then the claims are invalid.

    @Comment 50- No apology for this one. People generally need to spend more time on the details before unsupported opinions. It's fine to agree to disagree, but not fair to throw out unsupported assertions. It results in a lot of misunderstanding and unnecessary confusion.

    @Comment51 - I define "Sham" as clearly invalid and unenforceable. The fact a patent not commercialized yet doesn't make it a sham. At mentioned above, doesn't restrict your rights unless you choose to infringe the claims without a valid defense. There's no requirement to commercialize your patent. Independent inventors create and license to P&G and other large companies without ever making a thing. Nothing wrong with it and should be encourage.

    @comment52 - See above. Also, many patents lapse for failure to pay maintainance fees. Some hold hoping the technology will later become valuable so they can license.

    @comment53- "kinda covers" isn't the metric for determining a patent claim's scope. To infringe a patent claim, each word of each required limitation needs to be found in the infringing product. If an element is missing, no infringement. Here, do the same thing, but have the buyer's simply list zip codes instead of "exchange locations" and result in the buyer picking one of the seller's spots. Easy design around. This patent doesn't restrict your rights.

    The patent is narrow, but might be "overbroad" if there's prior art on what's claimed. If useless, then who cares?

    Innovation stifling? Huh? You are free to look at this patent and continue to innovate and improve on what's disclosed. Think it's useless? Ok, then improve and you can file a patent on the improvement. If you want to practice the claims, yes, they could prevent that commercialization of what they claimed. But how does it stifle innovation?

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

    Belligerent Serial Infringers Reaping Their Just Rewards

    "D: Sue others in case they accidentally infringe on your patent."

    Most infringers are not doing so by accident. I have been involved in many patent disputes and over twenty years only ONE was an accidental infringer.

    I think most accidental infringers get easy settlement terms, most certainly I gave them a very reasonable deal.

    It is the belligerent serial infringers who end up having to buy massive amounts of personal lube:)

    RIM, Microsoft, Apple, HP, Micron, Cisco, Oracle, banking & Insurance interests, etc, all serve as examples of serial infringers reaping what they sow.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Belligerent Serial Infringers Reaping Their Just Rewards

    I was reading through this comment without noticing who posted it (via email update), and thought, "wait a minute, is this Ronald??" Sure enough...

     

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


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