by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 24th 2010 5:03am
Brad Feld points us to the latest in a long line of ridiculous patent lawsuits. Apparently, two foreign companies that have filed "dozens" of similar lawsuits in the last few years are now suing the MBTA (Boston's transit service) for patent infringement for having a system that sends email/text alerts if a train is running late. The two patents in question (6,317,060 and 7,030,781) highlight why so many people think the patent system is screwed up. There is nothing in creating a system to alert users that their train is late that is all that complicated. If you took just about any group of semi-competent engineers and put them in a room and described the issue, they'd come up with similar solutions. There is no reason to justify giving a patent to such an "invention." All it serves to do is actively stifle the use of technology.
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