by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 16th 2009 5:35am
The NY Times is discussing a patent application by Apple (20090265214) for putting really intrusive advertising into products that would require users to respond to prove that they're paying attention to the advertising. First, there's a fair amount of prior art on very similar ideas. Not all of the prior attempts were quite so draconian -- but that's not because they needed some special new invention or "spark of genius." Instead, the reason why this hasn't been implemented fully is because most people realize it's stupid and would only serve to piss off customers. But it's hardly a new, unique or non-obvious idea. Hell, I remember discussing a nearly identical scheme around 1995 as a joke because it was so ridiculously stupid. Hopefully, the Patent Office realizes that this is an obvious concept and doesn't grant the patent.
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