Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Stopping Spam Patented (Again)

from the ah,-legal-battles dept

Earlier this year, we noted that Postini had received a patent for the incredibly obvious concept of anti-spam filtering. Well, it looks like they may be in for some competition, because Network Associates/McAfee has now been awarded a patent for an idea that (sarcasm alert) no one could have possibly come up with prior to December 2002 when they applied for it: using a combination of methods such as "filters, paragraph hashing, and Bayes rules" to stop spam. What this really means is that there are now going to be anti-spam patent battles which will slow down the process of stopping spam, and do no one any good, other than a few lawyers who will get rich. Why can't these companies just compete in the marketplace? Still, it would be great if, at some point, AT&T finally made it clear why they patented spamming itself last year.

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