1 lb. + 1 lb. = 2 lbs. Patented By Amazon

from the one-click-weighing dept

theodp writes "If you have two one-pound books, their combined weight should be two pounds. That's the theory behind a patent granted to Amazon Tuesday for Automatically identifying incongruous item packages." It goes well with their one-click patent, obviously. In the meantime, can someone explain how comparing the actual weight of a product to the weight it should be to look for discrepancies should be patentable?

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  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:01pm

    I want to rant...

    but I honestly don't uderstand. Let me get this straight. Amazon is getting patent on a system that allows them to weigh an object then check that value against a predetermined weight value that is saved in a database somewherer? Can someone please prove to me that this is more than:

    1. Make silly (and somewhat obvious) patent.
    2. ???
    3. Profit

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:13pm

    Isn't a system like that employed by self-checkout stations at grocery stores?

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  • identicon
    DittoBox, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:23pm

    Money Talks

    And the USPTO listens.

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  • identicon
    me, myself, and i, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:37pm

    well, theoretically

    1+1 is not always 2, there have been documented cases where 1+1=8, however, normally, its 3 or 4. unless you look at europe's state of the society, where 1+1 is most oft = 2.

    don't get my pun? 1 man + 1 woman = 1 man, 1 woman, and 1 baby, aka 3 humans

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:44pm

    Lest we forget other similar patents...

    This sounds a lot like the patent on Online Stores. I remember some time back someone got a patent for Electronic Stores and then started going around the net shaking down small businesses to make them "license" the software. I can't believe the Patent Office would be that stupid....oh wait...what am I saying. Of course they're willing to do that. Some lobbyist for Amazon probably threw a couple million their way and viola...they have a patent. I just hope they don't get a patent on "viola"...then I'd have to pay too :P

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:28pm

      Re: Lest we forget other similar patents...

      I think you mean voila. Viola is a string instrument of the alto range.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 9:04pm

      Re: Lest we forget other similar patents...

      Uh, it's voila (short for voire la, means "look here" in french), not viola (a large violin). And I'm pretty sure they are both public domain.

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  • identicon
    Lee, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:45pm

    "First off 1 + 1 = 11, any two year old can figure that out..."

    unless you use Cint(1) + CInt(1) :)

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  • identicon
    scott, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:46pm

    next some-one will patent something they learn(ed) in school.

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  • identicon
    Lee, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:47pm

    Wait...I'm gonna put in a patent for "August 4"...that way each year I get royalties for everyone who writes the date :P

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:40pm

      Re:

      Common...

      I'm going to patent patents. I'm also going to patent patenting patents. And, just to be safe, I'm going to patent holding any patent that was patented before the former two patents were patented.

      lol. I'd like to see that one beat.

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      • identicon
        Some Guy, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re:

        I'll get a trademark for the term patent. Then the government, and you could pay me for infringing it. :P

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      • identicon
        TheGr8ME, 3 Aug 2006 @ 9:50pm

        Re: Re:

        "I'm going to patent patents. I'm also going to patent patenting patents. And, just to be safe, I'm going to patent holding any patent that was patented before the former two patents were patented.

        lol. I'd like to see that one beat."

        I'm going to patent taking control of something with itself. I'll then allow you to do what you're doing, but you will have to pay me royalties. Part of the agreement you'll have to tell me I'm cooler that Bill Gates for collecting the royalties.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:48pm

    sounds like another case of patenting something inane to keep someone even more inane from patenting it first, and then suing Amazon. If your Amazon, that makes a lot of sense. If you're the patent office, you should now realize you're an abused tool and someone needs to retire you to a dark toolshed. the patent office is a joke.

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    • identicon
      BusMajor, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:47pm

      Re:

      Patents are scruitenized carefully. They are patenting a sytem( actually a device) that will do that for them, if someone else comes along and makes a DIFFERENT divice that does something else to create the same result they cannot sue for infringement. See Microsoft and Linux for example. (and computer prigrams cannot be patented, but are protected by copyrite laws--they are considered literature lol)

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  • identicon
    STJ, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:49pm

    Doesn't this mean that all those math sites can't add numbers together?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:49pm

    no...

    1 + 1 = 10, but 1+1+1 = 11

    gotta love binary!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:43pm

      Re: no...

      thanks for the clarification but it would have been better if you hadn't pointed out the obvious.

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    • identicon
      Uh....Binary, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:18pm

      Re: no...

      I think you need to work on your binary.

      1+1 in binary = 3. You are also wrong that in binary 1+1+1=11. It actually equals 7.

      11 in binary is 00001011

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:58pm

        Re: Re: no...

        There's absolutely nothing wrong in saying that 1+1=10 or 1+1+1=11 in binary. Hello?! BINARY. No where in the world will you see a valid expression that is binary in the left side and then decimal in the right?! --> 1+1=3?!

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    • identicon
      knome, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:44pm

      Re: no...

      Perhaps he was counting in base 1?

      Now for the lesson. Counting in base one.

      1 + 1 = 11
      11 + 1 = 111
      111 + 1 = 1111
      1111 + 1 = 11111
      11111 + 1 = 111111

      Thank you.

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  • identicon
    Rational Beaver, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:58pm

    I made the first comment on the very first blog back in 1997 and have since patented the form and method of making a "first comment" on a blog. As soon as I can get their IP addresses I will be suing all of those Anonymous Cowards.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 2:59pm

    I thought that a requirement for patents is that they are to be "non-obvious". I.E. you can't patent the concept of using 4 wheels on a car.

    So just how the hell did amazon get to patent the concept of using a fucking scale?

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  • identicon
    AC, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:01pm

    some perspective

    Here is some perspective on this "Patent". It took 9 "inventors" and their janitors to invent this patent, and approximately 2 full years for the USPTO to grant it. It seems to be a very simple theory, but has 107 claims in it. Any claim can be used to sue Barnes & Nobles for infringment, even those few which could have been sneaked in the list 107 times longer than the cock of Mr. Jeff Bezos, while the USPTO employees would have been smoking grass busily bonking each other ravishingly. And by the sounds of what this patent is, and similar such patents that B & N, and their cousins would file, the only people getting richer are the lawyers. While real technology and development go to countries like India & China.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:04pm

    I going to patent posting dumbass coments on Techdirt.
    then, I will patent making spelling and grammer mistakes

    man, im going to be a billionaire

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  • identicon
    Marcus, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:06pm

    All we've come to expect of todays graduates

    The Patent Office of late makes about as much sense as some of the Federal Communications Commission decisions of late.

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  • identicon
    Boris Jacobsen, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:06pm

    Hang on a minute.....

    ...this is Applied Mathematics at its ABSOLUTELY MOST BASIC.

    If this is patentable, then all Applied Mathematics (much of which is a.k.a. Physics) is patentable.

    Surely this patent can be overruled by a patent on weighing things. Weighing stuff is based on Newton's laws - equal and opposite reactions, etc. - far more advanced mathematical / physical concepts than 1 + 1 = 2. Or even 1.2 + 2.3 = 3.5

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    • identicon
      craig, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:10pm

      Re: Hang on a minute.....

      ".this is Applied Mathematics at its ABSOLUTELY MOST BASIC. "

      But you see, the revolutionary and innovative difference here is the key to the patent - this is Applied Mathematics ONLINE.

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  • identicon
    Salivating Attorney, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:08pm

    I patented how things fall due to gravity!

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  • identicon
    jack, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:17pm

    Unreal...I had to go to the link myself. It's true! If this isn't a patent on something trivial and obvious, I don't know what is.

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  • identicon
    me, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:23pm

    double post

    sorry you cant double post without paying me

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  • identicon
    me, myself, and i, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:31pm

    yet another theoretical point

    if you think about it another way, 1 + 1 = 1 as well:

    1 sperm + 1 egg = 1 baby

    this is also true in terms of chuck norris:

    1 bad guy + 1 chuck norris roundhouse kick = 1 dead bad guy, which is also = 0 living bad guys

    well, in any case, 1+1 is a completely incoherent mathematical function, and should be treated as undefined, just like x/0 and the sideways 8

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  • identicon
    Bill W, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:33pm

    I think a LOT of retailers are going come afoul of

    Seems to me that when I use the self checkout at the supermarket or even at Home Depot they weigh wat I put on the belt/bag and if my 1/4 inch bolt weighs four pounds or my 1/2 pound chicken leg weighs 8 lbs it complains!

    I cannot imagine why they think they can patent such an idea or why the Patent Office granted it!

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  • identicon
    Joe Ward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:52pm

    Quality of Service - Prevent Shipping Errors

    It might be a bit simplistic, but it sounds like something they would use as a 2nd check before shipping packages to check for errors. I.e. wrong product included or missing product, etc. How much fraud do they encounter in consumers who claim 1 or more items was not in the box? What rate of occurence do they actually have in making such errors? It could be an anti-fraud and/or quality of service oriented patent.

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  • identicon
    applemachome, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:57pm

    1 plus 1

    I thought 1 plus 1 was 10? :-p

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  • identicon
    Beanbag, 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:58pm

    Walking

    I am trying to patent a system of locomotion where you keep placing one foot in front of the other to get where you are going. If you know of anyone using this system without permission - let me know so I can begin litigation immediately.

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  • identicon
    Another Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:08pm

    RE: 1+1

    Any first year computer science major knows that 1 does not equal 1; therefore 1+1 is only approximately 2. 1 can only be defined by the number of bits available. A sixteen bit computation will have less precision than a 64 bit computation. But, even though a 64-bit computation is more precise, it is still not equivalent to an integer value. Int(1) simply makes 1 as precise as the computation allows.

    Therefore, we can only speak of 1+1 = 2 in terms of probability theory. Our theorem must state: what is the probability of 1+1 = 2 given an X-bit system with a confidence factor of .95? I'll let Amazon do the derivation.

    I'm still wondering how I can get $1 + $1 = $5. :o)

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    • identicon
      Mikecx, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:59pm

      Re: RE: 1+1

      Concerning the comment about computer where 1 + 1 != 1. Only partially correct. Using intergers, the number is stored as a bit number, ala 0001 for one and so on, thus our common binary form. For floating point numbers (anything with a decimal, even 1.0) the precision is cut to however many bits the computer is allowed to use for precision. Basically meaning that 1 != 1.0.

      Then again, maybe i'm wrong and 0001 != 1.

      (You can also conclude from this that 1+1 = 3 for exceptionally large values of 1)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 11:17pm

      Re: RE: 1+1

      You know, this whole thing reminds me of an old thread on alt.fan.dragonballz about how the farmer in the first episode with a power level of 5 could have potentially destryed the earth, based off of revelations of power levels of stronger characters, and what was revealed about their ultimate level of abiltiy at said power level. I have the thread buried somewhere, I guess I can look for it, but know the thought has passed, so I'll go back to trolling through the comments.

      Bleh!

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  • identicon
    bluesubno.6, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:10pm

    Success

    Absolutely ridiculous. There will surely be many suits to follow this patent.

    We could be very Radiohead about this. 2+2=5

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:13pm

    Attention!: Voila is spelled like this, not viola! I hope someone hasn't patented a musical instrument as an exclamation. Good work.

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  • identicon
    Little Black Box, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:27pm

    My New Patent

    I'm patenting a new system that automatically scans for things just don't add up then annihilate the offending party - this could include packages, the RIAA, the MPAA, all politicians, and the patent office.

    Wait, if I annihilate the patent office then this patent won't exist... something doesn't add up here (poof!)

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  • identicon
    Brian, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:32pm

    Well....

    I don't think they getting a patent for the math, so much as the machine that does it. Besides, people hear about new products all the time and say "It's so easy, I wish I would have thought of that." Just another one of these situations.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:34pm

    I wonder if I can get any money for reporting violations to Amazon. Places I've worked did similar things. The pick list showed piece weights and added them up at the bottom. Once the order was packaged and placed on the scale to calculate shipping you compared the package weight to the order + tare to make sure nothing was missed or extra.

    That was in 1992-1995.

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    • identicon
      Mark, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      Quote:
      "#
      by Anonymous Coward on Aug 3rd, 2006 @ 4:34pm

      I wonder if I can get any money for reporting violations to Amazon. Places I've worked did similar things. The pick list showed piece weights and added them up at the bottom. Once the order was packaged and placed on the scale to calculate shipping you compared the package weight to the order + tare to make sure nothing was missed or extra.

      That was in 1992-1995."

      FedEx and UPS have been using this for years!

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  • identicon
    Underwear Gnome, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:38pm

    uh oh

    uh oh...looks like Amazon.com has stolen our secret business model. good thing we patented it before we started stealing underwear. :)

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  • identicon
    Frank De Ford, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:39pm

    Super-silius patentology, . . .

    Amazon should back up a few steps and patent the word "DUMBASS" It seems to be a recurring word in my mind when I hear avout their other patents. Maybe then they could clean up on their stuper-wisdom.

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  • identicon
    Frank De Ford, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:40pm

    Super-silius patentology, . . .

    Amazon should back up a few steps and patent the word "DUMBASS" It seems to be a recurring word in my mind when I hear avout their other patents. Maybe then they could clean up on their stuper-wisdom.

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  • identicon
    Uh.. stick to a base, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: no...

    you can't (at least shouldn't for all practical purposes) have an equation with different bases on each side of the = ... therefore 1+1 in binary can't equal 3 and 1+1+1 can't equal 7 as bits only entail the numbers 0 and 1 ... besides... 1+1=10 and 1+1+1=11 in binary... i don't know where you get your ideas from but you don't need to express you answer strictly in bytes... thus the 10 and 11 not 00000010 and 00000011 ...

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  • identicon
    mr, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:47pm

    Limited thinking

    Clearly Amazon are shipping close to the speed of light, therefore each pound is actually heavier than at rest. Thus there has to be adjustments for the Lorentzian contraction and the non-linear nature of mass combinations as you near the speed of light. M

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 4:55pm

    Prior Art

    They can't patent this I used this method every Christmas to figure out what my presents were. Not heavy enough to be that new toy I wanted, must be something else. I better hurry up and pattent my shaking technique.

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  • identicon
    Feynman, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Limited thinking

    this is irrelevant because they're weighing the object at rest to the scale... therefore the scale undergoes the same relativistic principles as the objects being weighed

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:10pm

    People...

    1 + 1 = 1 + 1 !!!!

    Ever thought of that? The LHS and RHS are identical, thus making the equality sign true and the statement valid!

    Gosh, what geeks we are =.=

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  • identicon
    Link Pankratz, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Past it's usefulness

    The Patent Office has obviously been so automated that it can no longer discern the difference between a true inspiration and an inarguable fact. It has outlived it's usefulness. Much like our current society.

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  • identicon
    Robert Swinney, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:51pm

    Just another lame patent

    What is wrong with an additional layer of accuracy. The patent is not 2 one pound books = a 2 pound package. The system ensures that if X number of items are ordered, pulled, then packed. before final shipping all of the packages are wieghed, checked against the database with product weights and then shipped. It is a simple idea, but there was certianly some thought and development put in to the process.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 5:56pm

    hmmmm, 1+1 =? OH! I know the answer......"1+1=42"!


    ..... as does all everything else...lol

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: no...

    did anything he type LOOK like he was counting in unary? did anything he type resemble your "lesson"?

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  • identicon
    Roo, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:05pm

    Prior art

    On the off chance that someone out there wants to discuss the patent, I submit there the amount of prior art in this area is considerable.

    Dell has been doing this for longer than Amazon's been around. CDW does it too, but they also take a digital picture of each package just before it's sealed.

    This one should be easy (but expensive) to overturn.

    roo

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  • identicon
    shableep, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:17pm

    Well...

    It looks like this is a patent for some new device they made that records the weight AND dimensions. This is probably in effort to decrease the amount of shipping errors and increase shipping efficiency.

    Sounds like a good idea to me, but to patent something like that is just straight up anti-competitive. This isn't a completely obvious idea, but it's quickly going to become a more common idea in the future. Patenting is based on the idea of defending from theft of intellectual property. A man with no knowledge of the existence of this device or patent could still come to the same idea... "Wouldn't it be nice if I could check the weight and dimensions of what I ship without hiring anyone?"

    The man hasn't stolen anything and doesn't deserve to be punished.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:34pm

    The whole patent system no longer does what it was made to do. It is now silly and corrupt. It was introduced because of the age of invention. 1 + 1 = 2 is not an invention.

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  • identicon
    Agonizing Fury, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:35pm

    Obvious, but....

    I hate stupid patents as much as the next techdirtian (can I patent that word, or since I have expressed it, maybe I hold the copyright? No that would definately be a trademark), it seems to me that it's possible this patent may be valid. It doesn't look like they are actually taking "item 1 = 2lbs, item 2 = 3.4 lbs does the package weigh 5.4lbs." It seems more like "box 1 has items a,b,c & d in it and weighs 4.3lbs box 2 has items a,b,&c in it. does box 2's weight and size make sense compared to box 1." It takes this idea on a much grander scale making it feasible. Although this seems obvious, their exact method of doing so may be patentable. In the same way, ranking internet pages in a search engine is by no means patentable, however a specific method (Google's Page rank system for example) is completely patentable.

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  • identicon
    Xcubed, 3 Aug 2006 @ 6:49pm

    10 kinds of people in the world

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand 1 + 1 = 10 and those that do not understand.

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  • identicon
    Steve, 3 Aug 2006 @ 7:06pm

    STUPID!

    Ok, why are you all arguing about the value of 1 + 1? This whole topic is supposed to be about Amazon coming up with a new technology. Maybe not new to human kind, but new to them anyway (for those of you commenting about the self checkout). Anyway, does anyone have anything valuable to add? Well, other than #s 62, 67, and 70 above. Thank you. I think this topic should be closed.

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  • identicon
    Andrew Lark, 3 Aug 2006 @ 7:31pm

    Been there Done That...

    Interesting that they are patenting it. It does have value in the sense the process and technology integration significantly reduces false ships.

    We implemented presicely this system at Sony Music in NZ 15 years ago. Virtually every CD is a unique weight. Marry that with the contents of a box going out the door and you get a serious reduction in stock shrinkage. Should have patented it I guess...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2006 @ 7:53pm

    Re: STUPID!

    Steve, I see you're neither a math person nor a computer science person. Different base number systems and how computers handle different data types are interesting and worthy of discussion at any time. Nowhere do I see anything that states that responses have to adhere 100% to the article. Besides, the author asked for it including 1+1=2 in the title. Bring up specifically 1+1 and if there's a math or computer major around you're guaranteed to get such responses as 1+1=10, calculations are only as precise as the number of bits allocated for them, etc...

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  • identicon
    RedBeard, 3 Aug 2006 @ 8:36pm

    I ordered 2 mg of radioactive atomic nucleus from Amazon. By the time I got it, I only received half the order.

    I was thinking about ordering Schrödinger's cat from Amazon, but they wouldn't guarantee if the cat was dead or alive while in shipment.

    Since they ship by weight, If I ordered a box of helium, would they owe me money?

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  • identicon
    Just my 2 cents, 3 Aug 2006 @ 8:56pm

    Patent affects shipping?

    So if you order a .5 pound item, they round it up to 1 lb for shipping. If you order 2 - .5 pound items one would think they would pay for 1 pound shipping; however according to the rules of the patent they may pay for 2 pounds shipping. Is this patent a case of establishing precedence? Maybe so...

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  • identicon
    Xcetron, 3 Aug 2006 @ 10:00pm

    Someone should go and patent some names, they'd be millionare.

    Pay $1 to use the name Smith.
    Pay $1 to use the name John.
    Pay $4 to use them as one name. John Smith

    lol.

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  • icon
    rijit (profile), 3 Aug 2006 @ 10:19pm

    Confused...

    So they patented a scale or the process of checking the scale to see if it is wrong? I guess I am a country bumpkin, I do not get all these new fangled contraption thingies and terms such as 1+1=2.

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  • identicon
    Double Down, 3 Aug 2006 @ 10:22pm

    Even if you receive a patent....

    ...you have to defend it. And that's the trick. Depending on how a patent is written, it could be too narrow or broad. The bottom line though is that, you'll find this funny, its the attorneys that are making bank all along the way. Imagine that. It's like the click fraud suit. $30M for the the lawyers. The legal system in this country is BROKEN (too much profit and not enough justice), but yet no one seems to care.

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

  • identicon
    The Octagon, 3 Aug 2006 @ 10:30pm

    Could be smart...

    .. if Amazon patents a process where they match actual weight against an official declared weight - then perhaps the US gov't might pay them tons o cash if and when it is decided that Amazon's method might be an awesome way to flag packages for bombs. I think this would work on imported or private sector shipments (since they tend to have products that can be predictably measured), but the consumer market won't really have to worry about it.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 3 Aug 2006 @ 10:38pm

    Lets try this

    Patents Amazon can try for:

    1 lb. (+) 1 lb. = 2 lbs
    1 lb. - 1 lb. = 0 lbs
    lb. 1 + lb. 1=lbs 2
    1 lb. + 1 lb. = 2 lb (Missing S)

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

  • identicon
    Doug, 3 Aug 2006 @ 11:31pm

    Read the claims people

    This patent has nothing to do with 1+1=2. Read the claims. They define the scope of the patent. This claims is very, very narrow.

    1. A method for a computing system at a package shipping location to automatically detect problems with contents of packages when the contents are not directly observable, the contents of each package including one or more of multiple distinct items available to be shipped from the package shipping location, comprising: automatically estimating actual weights of each of the multiple available items at the package shipping location by repeatedly measuring weights of sealed packages being shipped and attributing portions of the measured weights to items that are included in contents of those packages; after the automatic estimating of the actual item weights and for each of multiple additional sealed packages that are being shipped, automatically detecting whether a problem exists with contents of the package by, identifying items intended to be in the contents of the package; calculating an anticipated total weight for the package if the identified intended items are in the contents, the calculating based in part on the estimated actual weights of those intended items; measuring an actual total weight of the package; and when a deviation between the anticipated and actual total weights for the package exceeds a predetermined threshold, diverting the package from shipment for manual review of the contents of the package; and for each of the diverted packages, when the manual review of the package indicates that items actually included in the contents of the package are different from the intended items for the contents, correcting the contents before shipping the package; and when the manual review of the package indicates that the actually included items in the contents match the intended items for the contents, updating the estimated actual weight for one or more of the included items to correspond to the actual total weight for the package.

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

  • identicon
    TerroristBush, 4 Aug 2006 @ 2:03am

    make a patent and make me rich

    I filed a patent for filing patents so there, you all are screwed, I am going to now start stealing all the ideas out there and making patents then suing.

    Wow, I think I will be able to make more money than the RIAA + MPAA just by hiring lawyers to sue people.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2006 @ 6:29am

    It's a method for allowing their system to, say, put all your books in one box (since they're all the same shape/size) and all your cooking supplies in another (because they're not).

    The weights enter into the equation so as to save on shipping...if you have a 1.1 lb, a 1.0 lb, and a 0.9 lb object to ship, it's much more efficient to send 1.1+0.9 = 2 lb. + 1.0 = 1.0lb. Shipping companies ship in whole lb weights, so it's a good idea to optimize like this.

    This patent basically ties together a bunch of prior art into a nice system that most online retailers would salivate over (since they're currently using...people!).

    Persons should not comment on patents they do not read or, having read, do not understand.

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

  • identicon
    Amazon Rep, 4 Aug 2006 @ 6:52am

    Thank you™ for shopping on Amazon.com™.™ Your Package™ should be arriving in 3™ to 4™ business days.™

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

  • identicon
    maxjax, 4 Aug 2006 @ 7:29am

    1+1= lawyer

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

  • identicon
    maxjax, 4 Aug 2006 @ 7:30am

    1+1= lawyer

    I blame lawyers for every evil thing on the planet today...
    do some research and you'll find if it ticks you off you can
    trace it back to a lawyer

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

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 4 Aug 2006 @ 9:44am

    I should...

    I should start contributing articles cuz Techdirt is starting to piss me off.

    These article posters aren't really contributing much of anything. They find an article, post an opinion, then we argue over their opinion.

    Often the contributors opinions are based on half-baked facts and here we are arguing over what the facts are.

    Could Techdirt please stop offering up half-baked arguments so we at least have something legitimate to chew on?

    I'm tired of digging up facts to find that the contributors never even check their facts or are misrepresenting the facts in order to support their opinions.

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

  • identicon
    ex-amazonian, 4 Aug 2006 @ 1:47pm

    great article - Bezos just won't learn - amazon is the "do only evil" counterpoint to goog - and it shows in their stock price - AMZN will be at $2 before JeffB finally understands karma and how much this kind of crap has actually cost him

    doug - you're an idiot - you read the claim - this patent is on a common sense process for any business involved in fulfillment services

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

  • identicon
    Jeremy2, 4 Aug 2006 @ 2:57pm

    How many people does it take....

    Apparently there were quite a few "inventors" - I did not care to count, but it looked like there were at least six people. If I had two days to study it, I could probably come up with a decent review of it, but from the outset it looks like a way of measuring - not necessarily measuring itself. Possibly (and I am only ventruing here), it's not quite so stupid as the 1 click patent...

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

  • identicon
    David Redwine, 6 Aug 2006 @ 7:18pm

    Don't criticize what you don't understand

    Read the fine Patent people!

    Amazon is not getting the weights from a database, they are building a database and checking shippments all at once using a mathmatical technique know as Principal Component Analysis. This is a VERY neat trick and certainly patentable.

    This technique gives them a significant advantage over others who must enter the weight of every new item into a database. This database learns the weights of new objects so there is no overhead associated with modification of the weights database.

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


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