from the ebay-for-patent-trolls dept
As you look through that list, you'll recognize that some have done significantly innovative work in taking the concept of an online recommendation system and actually making it useful. The simple idea of doing recommendations is pretty straightforward. Making it work well? Not so much. Hell, that's why Netflix is offering $1 million to anyone who can improve their recommendation engine by just 10%. The basic ideas expressed in the patent are not where the value in these recommendation systems lies. It's in the actual effort of figuring out how to make them work better. This patent has nothing to do with the actual success of a recommendation system, but the holders of it may now get a pay day just for holding the patent, thanks to Ocean Tomo's auctions. And, of course, this means that all of those companies that were actually innovating will, at the very least, now need to spend legal dollars defending against this massive innovation blocker.