Can You Patent Catching Spam?

from the seems-like-a-stretch dept

The latest in a long line of "patent first, ask for prior art later" cases is with the new patent Postini has received for "pre-processing" email to scrub it of spam. That doesn't seem particularly original or particularly patentable, but they now have the patent. If they wanted, they could go after any number of competing spam companies - though, they say they're still thinking about it. The article points out that the patent is unlikely to live through a legal challenge, but that doesn't mean it won't cause a big hassle in the meantime. Whatever happened to the days when companies actually competed in the marketplace, rather than trying to shut out their competitors who came up with the same (pretty obvious) idea independently?

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