Obama's Director Of Citizen Participation Patents Displaying News With Financial Info

from the participation-indeed dept

theodp writes “Ex-Googler and now White House Director of Citizen Participation Katie Stanton, who’s charged with promoting open public dialogues, snagged a patent on displaying financial news Thursday with her former employer. The patent for Interactive Financial Charting and Related News Correlation (as seen on Google Finance), which Google explains is an invention designed to ‘facilitate and encourage the user’s use and understanding of financial information,’ expires in the year 2027.”

To be fair, Google has only been a defensive, rather than offensive, patenter, so I wouldn’t read too much into this. However, it does seem a little ridiculous to patent the process of displaying news with financial information. It’s a neat UI concept — but deserving of monopoly protection for decades?

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Comments on “Obama's Director Of Citizen Participation Patents Displaying News With Financial Info”

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Doctor Strange says:

Re: Re:

Err…haven’t all the major financial newspaper/magazine websites (or financial websites in general) been doing this for years?

If you can demonstrate that they have “been doing this for years” (for all values of ‘this’ where ‘this’ is what’s actually covered by the patent claims instead of an imprecise, hand-waving explanation of them, and for values of “years” including times prior to February 24, 2006) then you can invalidate the patent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Financial news is nothing new and certainly is not deserving of a patent even if new. It’s sad how our patent system is so broken as to assume that anything that hasn’t been patented is somehow deserving of a patent.

and don’t assume that just because our broken patent office grants a patent it means that something has never been done before (ie: someone got a patent on swinging sideways on a swing and someone else got a patent on the wheel).

Oh, and to overturn a patent costs resources (ie: time, lawyers, money), even if it’s a bogus patent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Are you saying that President Obama may have a Director of Citizen Participation that holds a patent that has similar function to a multiple effect evaporator? If so, I imagine there is plenty of previous art in alternative fields of study.

What’s wrong with our patent system? Oh yes, people like Katie Stanton who are on the advisory committee.


ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:


Defensive patents only increase the stakes for new startups (who don’t hold ‘defensive’ patents.) That’s about exactly the opposite of what the patent system is supposed to be about.

Oh, wait, I get it. These guys aren’t any more concerned about me than the last guys. Well, good to know. I’ll feel that much less guilty about my contraband activities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Has anyone pointed out that Google’s do no evil founders have sold the majority stake in Google a few days ago? Google is a 100% capitalistic company now. The share holders have the power to replace the CEO and get someone litigious. in 20 years I’ll bet you anything they have dozens of companies over a barrel with their massive arsenal of imaginary patents.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

I think that this article is somewhat misleading, and points to Obama where the pointing isn’t particularly valid.

The patent was filed February 24, 2006, almost 4 years before Obama was elected and likely about the same amount of time before Katie Stanton came on staff. The patent has nothing to do with Obama, it is something that would be mentioned in passing, not as the up front issue – unless you are trying to create an issue where none exists.

The patent isn’t hers, it is assigned to Google, and was likely part of her “work product”, along with the others listed. I suspect she will receive no benefit from the patent, not will she in any way control it.

The story reads more like another slap at Obama, rather than anything informative.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Sorry, I’ll leave the unfunny pathetic comments to you from now on. You’re much better at it.

Of course, if you had actually read beyond the title, which you didn’t, you would see that Obama is mentioned exactly 0 times beyond the title, and that the post focuses on Google.

But don’t let your inability to read more than a few words before going on your predictable rants stop you from trying to make a point where none exists.

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