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[ NNSquad ] Re: Facebook granted patent for social networking "news feeds"

On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 3:12 AM, Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com> wrote:

> Facebook granted patent for social networking "news feeds"
> http://bit.ly/9ZtaSN  (Computerworld)
> About what we'd expect from the same USPTO
> that approved my personal favorite inane patent:
> http://bit.ly/1doZ2q  (Patent Storm #5443036)

There are electronic equivalents of  the "method of exercising a cat"
patent. One is the "fat line" patent granted to IBM. Gary L Reback narrates
the absurdity of this patent as follows:

IBM's fat line patent:

To turn a thin line on a computer screen into a broad line, you go up and
down an equal distance from the ends of the thin line and then connect the
four points. You probably learned this technique for turning a line into a
rectangle in seventh-grade geometry, and, doubtless, you believe it was
devised by Euclid or some such 3,000-year-old thinker. Not according to the
examiners of the USPTO, who awarded IBM a patent on the process.

In his forbes article "Patently Absurd" he narrates an example of the Patent
Extortion game http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/0624/044.html


US patent no 6,727,830, granted April 27, 2004 to Microsoft

"*A method and system are provided for extending the functionality of
application buttons on a limited resource computing device. Alternative
application functions are launched based on the length of time an
application button is pressed. A default function for an application is
launched if the button is pressed for a short, i.e., normal, period of time.
An alternative function of the application is launched if the button is
pressed for a long, (e.g., at least one second), period of time. Still
another function can be launched if the application button is pressed
multiple times within a short period of time, e.g., double click. *"



    [ For all the talk of "patent reform," there seems to have been
      little or no effective progress from the situation I described
      back in 2002 for "Wired" in "Stop the Patent Process Madness" 
      ( http://bit.ly/cYeqEz [ Wired ] ).

          -- Lauren Weinstein
             NNSquad Moderator ]