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.

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Companies: microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Patents Making A List For Santa”

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24 Comments
Jason Still (profile) says:

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.

Joe Smith says:

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.

Patent Trolls (profile) says:

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.

Ban Software Patents says:

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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