Great Timing: USPTO Gives Amazon Patent For 'Reliable Ratings'

from the that-would-be-an-oops... dept

theodp writes "Do bad patents bring bad karma? Less than 24 hours after a hacker identified as 'Weev' claimed he exploited a feature for reporting inappropriate content to wreak havoc on Amazon's product ratings (Amazon blamed a "glitch"), the USPTO issued Amazon.com a patent for the Automatic Identification of Unreliable User Ratings, an 'invention' which - you guessed it - purportedly prevents Amazon's product ratings from being gamed by providing a feature for reporting inappropriate content ('Section 244 also contains a link 254 to a display (not shown) where customer CCC can report that item review 222 contains scandalous or inappropriate material')."
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Filed Under: patents, ratings, reliability, uspto
Companies: amazon


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  • identicon
    TheStuipdOne, 14 Apr 2009 @ 12:22pm

    wow

    stupid and useless ... good job amazon and USPTO

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Since the patent is for a method and apparatus, and not for the implementing code, this article seems to be pointless. Obviously, as pointed out by the "hacker", the code can be "gamed", but that is irrelevant to what the patent embraces.

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

    • identicon
      Chronno S. Trigger, 14 Apr 2009 @ 12:55pm

      Re:

      It's a joke, it's funny (as in Ha, Ha funny). It's not meant to point anything out about the patent system. It's just one of those poetic justice kind of things.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2009 @ 1:41pm

      Re:

      Since the patent is for a method and apparatus, and not for the implementing code, this article seems to be pointless. Obviously, as pointed out by the "hacker", the code can be "gamed", but that is irrelevant to what the patent embraces.

      It is entirely relevant if the code embodies the invention described by the patent.

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

  • identicon
    C.T., 14 Apr 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Mike,

    What exactly is the point of this post? Is there something specific in the patent filing that you question? Or, is this just an attempt to criticize the patent system through innuendo?

    For as much as you accuse others of relying on straw man arguments, you sure seem to rely on them when it suits your cause.

    I think it bears reiterating that I really like this site, and I find the vast majority of your posts to be very thoughtful. However, I really think you do a disservice to people who advocate IP reform (myself included) when you revert to populist attacks with little substance.

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

  • identicon
    Brooks, 14 Apr 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Ugh

    1) "Weev" is a well known troll and liar, and taking credit here was a publicity stunt. This is well documented, and it's a shame to see Techdirt still falling for it after his claims were thoroughly debunked.

    2) Amazon has acknowledged that the error was human in nature, due to crossed up definitions between different organizations, culminating in a big mistake. The "glitch" excuse, while cheesy, is no longer their line. Again, Techdirt should post the *current* state of news, or at least indicate that more complete info is available now.

    3) The Amazon issue clearly had nothing to do with this patent, and theodp's characterization of it as a "bad patent" is totally unsupported either in his writeup or by Techdirt. Maybe it is a bad patent, I don't know. Given how error-filled this whole post is, though, I'm unlikely to assign much credibility to theodp or Techdirt on the subject.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 14 Apr 2009 @ 3:37pm

      Re: Ugh

      1) "Weev" is a well known troll and liar, and taking credit here was a publicity stunt. This is well documented, and it's a shame to see Techdirt still falling for it after his claims were thoroughly debunked.

      We weren't taking it seriously. This post was just supposed to be funny... Based on the timing, the whole thing was just amusing.

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

  • identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, 14 Apr 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Conspiracy theory for the day

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the bad ratings for video games with restrictive drm?

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

  • identicon
    teknosapien, 14 Apr 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Maybe they should get one

    for censorship also

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


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