by Mike Masnick
Mon, Mar 2nd 2009 3:43pm
Let's say you were an engineer at a major credit card company like Visa, and put in charge of watching over new technologies, and thinking about ways that you could make the credit card process better and more secure for card holders. It probably wouldn't take you all that long to come up with a variety of useful measures for checking to make sure certain transactions were legit -- such as alerting cardholders to transactions via SMS. That's nothing particular special or unique, but it's a nice obvious addition, thanks to the fact that SMS text messaging has now become popular. So, you go ahead and implement it... and promptly get sued by some small company that claims a patent on the "invention" of alerting cardholders of transactions by SMS. I'm sure the angry patent system defenders will be quick to show up in the comments claiming that Visa "stole" this "invention," but I'm having a really difficult time understanding how you can support innovation and allow this sort of result to happen.
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