Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Amazon Patents Showing You Your Own Books

from the well,-thank-goodness-for-that dept

theodp writes "Thanks to a patent the USPTO granted to Amazon Tuesday for a Method and system for access to electronic images of text based on user ownership of corresponding physical text (aka Amazon Upgrade), showing you images of pages from a book you've purchased may someday trigger a patent infringement lawsuit."

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  • identicon
    Buzz, 7 Feb 2007 @ 10:14pm

    OMG...

    I'm going to patent the way I walk. You all better cross-examine your walking style, or I might see you and sue you accordingly.

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

  • identicon
    Craig, 7 Feb 2007 @ 10:23pm

    But only if...

    ...you do it using the same method Amazon has patented.

    It's all ridiculous, but let's not pull a straw man fallacy, here.

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

  • identicon
    Ben(damnit), 7 Feb 2007 @ 10:34pm

    dibs

    Alright, I got dibs on the patent for a Method and system for translating abstract ideas and concepts into arrangements of phonics to convey a meaning.

    a.k.a. language. Then someone else can add 'on the net', and 'in writing' and we can team up and corner the market.

    Seriously though, how do we go about changing this patent system? Can we start a petition, do we protest, should i write nasty letters to the people in office, or is there even a better, more functional (i use that term loosely as our current system hardly qualifies as adequate) system out there?

    Sadly, i think the only hope any of us would really have would be to win the powerball, hire a lobbying firm, and make some serious campaign contributions. And even then, it would be locked up in committee for years.

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

    • identicon
      Peter Bromberg, 8 Feb 2007 @ 8:11am

      Re: dibs

      Yah, but we have to change it, no matter how long it takes. We need to:
      1) Train the bureaucrats who review the patent apps.
      2) Give the PTO enough funds to do it right.
      3) Streamline the review and appeals process.
      4) Make it resemble reality so patent-parking scams no longer are profitable.

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

  • identicon
    zcat, 7 Feb 2007 @ 10:36pm

    mp3.com

    Wasn't this the basis of mp3.com's business model; giving you streaming access to your music anywhere once you had reasonably demonstrated that you had the physical CD at home...?

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

  • identicon
    Enrico Suarve, 8 Feb 2007 @ 4:27am

    Eureka!

    I'm going to patent a system which allows the recording of a vague idea in order to halt innovation and which is designed to work on a first come first served basis, so that the first person to submit an idea gets all the credit rather than the person who first created it

    The system should obviously also have special bonuses built in for obvious submissions

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

  • identicon
    Vermin Slayer, 8 Feb 2007 @ 5:37am

    Solution

    If someone would just patent the process of patenting ridiculous patents this patent insanity will solve itself.

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

  • icon
    flamsmark (profile), 8 Feb 2007 @ 6:00am

    Patent Wit

    Jokes about patenting obvious things, or things directly related to the patent system just get funnier and funnier after every patent story.

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

    • identicon
      Enrico Suarve, 8 Feb 2007 @ 9:30am

      Re: Patent Wit

      True but its been a long day and the patents get more and more dubious

      My way of saying "please sir he started it sir" ;0)

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

  • identicon
    csven, 8 Feb 2007 @ 8:23am

    "Wasn't this the basis of mp3.com's business model; giving you streaming access to your music anywhere once you had reasonably demonstrated that you had the physical CD at home...?"

    Sure sounds like it. However, there *is* a difference. While it was mp3.com's business model, this is Amazon's *method* for putting this into practice and a potential business model. If Amazon were to get permission from publishers, there might not be any issues. iirc, the music industry wasn't interested in giving mp3.com permission (and I wonder if they're now wishing they'd have worked with them on that).

    I agree that this might be a straw man issue. I've not read the patent, but suspect it's specific in how they plan to do it. However, if the patent is well-written, it'll cover a lot of options.

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

  • identicon
    JJ, 8 Feb 2007 @ 11:21am

    Hey mike, did you know that ars technica seems to be ripping off your posts:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070208-8798.html

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

  • identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 8 Feb 2007 @ 8:17pm

    Re:

    He lets them, unnofficially. I assume since you postdd that you're new around here. He generally comments that if they have to copy him,word will get around and people will come here for the original instead, especially if someone posts a link to here on thier page.

    Mike has found plenty of sites which copy/paste techdirt, but he ignores it because they get less traffic than he does.

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

  • identicon
    Deirdre' Straughan, 9 Feb 2007 @ 6:53am

    Amazon patent

    I don't know whether it's patentable, but I think it's a good idea - in fact, I suggested this very thing to Amazon a few years ago, when I first saw their "search inside the book" feature.

    I own a lot of books that I'd love to be able to do a full-text search on. To do such a search, I would have to have scanned all my books. But Amazon has already done that for many of the books I own (in fact, I've bought a few books from them because I knew from the "search inside" that those books contained material I needed).

    So, since they already give me (limited) access to the insides of books before I buy them, why not give me full access to the insides of books I already own? Naturally, they would need some sort of proof that I own the book.

    Seems sensible enough to me.

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


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