Yet Another Technology Patent Battle
from the they're-everywhere dept
It seems you can’t get away from crazy patent battles in the internet world these days. This article looks at the claims of Tumbleweed, who is suing eBay and Yahoo (among others) for violating the patent they have on sending personalized links over email. Why this is a patentable idea, no one seems to know. However, they’ve already convinced Hallmark and eGreetings to pay up license fees, and just convinced the company that sends out E*Trade’s stock alert emails to pony up $0.04 for every email they send. Once again, this is an example of patents not helping innovation in the slightest. It’s not as if this technology wouldn’t have been invented without patents. None of the companies using this technology “stole” the idea from Tumbleweed. They just added an obvious feature that makes sense to their product, but our patent system makes them either pay a license fee or suffer through the legal fees. These ridiculous patents are quickly going to make it more and more difficult for anyone to do anything online without having to agree to license fifty different patents.