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3/29/06

It's Mine! - You Can't Play With It!

From Slashdot "siddesu wrote to mention an article on CNN Money about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court patent suit involving eBay. We've previously mentioned the case. The SCOTUS will hear opening arguments on Wednesday, March 29th. From the article: "Lawyers for eBay and small e-commerce company MercExchange will square off over whether eBay should be barred from using its popular 'Buy it Now' feature, which infringes on two MercExchange patents. The case is being closely watched to see if the high court will scale back the right of patent holders to get an injunction barring infringers from using their technologies. Software companies complain they can be held for ransom by owners of questionable patents while drugmakers oppose any weakening of patent rights, which they say would chill their investment in new medicines."
The US Patent and Trademark Office has created this whole mess. Granting patents and trademarks on almost anything is not what was intended for such an agency.

Giving a patent on the words, "Buy It Now"? Give me a break. They allowed the word entrepreneur to be trademarked, Santa Claus, Spring Water, and even the word Sex for use in certain educational materials and believe it or not, the word Sex is trademarked for the category of refrigerator magnets.

The USPTO has to stop granting trademarks and patents on everything that anyone wants and needs to start letting intelligent people actually read these applications before stamping them approved. We can put monkeys in their place and teach them to stamp documents if they aren't going to read them anyway. Or . . . has that already happened?

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

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