by Mike Masnick

Pointless Hotspot Patents Back In The News

from the wonderful... dept

I'm actually posting this from a WiFi hotspot that clearly violates a variety of new patents, but it's not entirely clear why WiFi patents are suddenly in the news. A year ago, we noted that Nomadix had patented hotspot login screens, and in October famed patent hoarding company Acacia basically claimed an identical patent. Nothing much has changed, but both companies and their WiFi patents are back in the news. News.com wrote about Acacia's plans yesterday, while Internet.com has the story about Nomadix's patents today. What neither article mentions, however, is the question of whether or not these are valid patents. Having a login page show up at a hotspot doesn't seem like a particularly innovative idea -- and the fact that there are two totally separate patents in the space suggest that it's not particularly "non-obvious."

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  • identicon
    Seth, 1 Dec 2004 @ 10:05pm

    My idea...

    My idea for patent reform: leave everything exactly as it is now with one exception, if someone (outside the patent office) finds prior art of your patent, you have to pay them US$250,000. And you lose the patent, obviously. I bet the number of patents would go down dramatically the first week my plan was implemented but the quality of the remaining panents would go up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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