Searching For A Car With A Clean Title? Patented!

from the oh,-come-on dept

If you thought that the Supreme Court’s Teleflex decision would have the Patent Office be a little more careful about awarding really obvious patents, apparently you’d be wrong. The EFF is highlighting a patent approved last week by the office. The patent was file by Carfax, and it basically describes the key element of Carfax’s business: searching a database of used cars for ones with a clean title. Yes, that very thing is now patented. No, there’s nothing even remotely new here. Basically, it’s just a typical database search, but one that includes a flag for “clean title.” Does this mean that any kind of specialty search is now patentable? With the recent news that location-based searches are patented as well, I imagine lots of other types of searches won’t be far behind.

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Comments on “Searching For A Car With A Clean Title? Patented!”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Why not?

If you thought that the Supreme Court’s Teleflex decision would have the Patent Office be a little more careful about awarding really obvious patents, apparently you’d be wrong.

Why should anyone at the patent office care if they issue bogus patents? It’s not like any downside to it for them if they do. As I understand it, patent examiners even have legal protection from ever being sued for approving bogus patents. I wish I enjoyed such blanket immunity for my actions.

Joe Smith says:

Re: Ebay sued for "Buy it Now"?!

I think if you search the web, you will find lots of discussion of the eBay case. You should know that the case went to trial, eBay lost and now while MercExchange is in Federal Court trying to shut part of eBay down, the US Patent Office is working on cancelling the patent. Unfortunately for eBay, the law says that the patent is valid until the final appeal of any Patent Office cancellation decision. This is the same position that RIM found itself in last year and because that Judge made it clear he was not going to delay giving an injunction RIM wound up paying $612.5 Million for patents the Patent Office had said were invalid.

PhysicsGuy says:

My billion dollar plan!

actually, i just filed a patent for a “torque driven cylindrical object attached, and configured with any number of objects, to any kind of moving, holding, or carrying device in which the coefficient of friction between said device and any surface area is great enough in which the rotational force acting against the friction causes the moving, holding, or carrying to device to undergo rectilinear displacement.”

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