From TFA: Amazon has mercifully narrowed the process down to a particular formula*
Is there supposed to be further asterisked information here? Perhaps outlining this interesting formula?
The self-described patent reform advocates at Amazon.com don't seem to have broken their habit of putting legal hooks on just about anything they dream up. Last Tuesday, Amazon was awarded a patent for "creating an incentive to author useful item reviews." The patent describes a method of "rewarding the authors of reviews …
There is absolutely nothing merely "arguably" obvious about the idea, it is just completely and totally obvious -- like pretty much everything else that the stupid US patent office accepts without using the slightest intelligence.
As an idea, there is a very obvious precedent that should make it invalid. Its almost exactly the same idea used for rewarding pupils in almost every UK primary school for at the very least the last 50 years.
Re "an (arguably) obvious idea" - you're forgetting that prior art only exists in the USA - the US patent office doesn't count anything invented outside the US.
Now if we could only get the reverse to apply, ie that US patents could safely be ignored if you are not based in the US, then we could let them patent themselves into oblivion and let them go the same way as their bankers.
What is it then?
Or have they sneakily managed to copyright it, so that we can never know?
And where's my frickin' badge? or other trivial reward? Every other forum I am involved with gives me a nice 'label' depending on how many posts I make (errr... isn't that the same as described here?)
So they've patented a formula. Hoora! Didn't realize that mathematics could be patented. Or that something so blatantly obvious to anyone with even a modicum of knowledge about the field.
I guess this is just further proof that the USPTO has completely lost the plot, and will award patents for damn near anything if it has the word "computer" or "internet" in the documentation. So now it's going to cost some poor company at least US$8 million (and probably a lot more) to overturn this stupid fucking shite. Another RIM job in the making then.
Maybe they're just desperate to keep proving that the US is a "hotbed of innovation" as counted by the number of patents issued. No mention is ever made about the quality of said patents after all.
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