From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 07 DEC 2004 - Stupid Patents / Online Postage
Every once in a while, an item in the news gets me riled. Especially when it involves the subject of ridiculous patents. Now patents are not necessarily a Bad Thing, when used to protect a legitimate innovation. But in the past few years, patents have been granted for some very basic (and very obvious) Internet tools and technologies. This *is* a bad thing - read on to learn why.
If you've been on the bus for a while, you may remember the stories I wrote about British Telecom's shameful attempt to patent the hyperlink or the UNISYS "gif tax" which attempted to extort exorbitant licensing fees from every website owner. Both companies were scorned in court and in public, failing to collect their expected windfalls.
And in the continuing saga of People Failing to Learn From History, a lawyer for an anonymous bidder today paid $15.5 million for a patent portfolio covering many common practices in Internet commerce. Experts in the area of intellectual property speculate that the buyer of these patents may attempt to extract licensing fees from companies like IBM, Microsoft and others that provide e-commerce services. If successful, it could amount to a tax on all electronic transactions.
Find those back issues in the Tourbus Archives or read the latest news about Internet technology and patents at these links below:
The Tourbus News Service is new and improved! In addition to the latest Internet, Tech, Business and Computing headlines, we now offer a peek into the collective mind of the Internet User. Try it out at:
Tourbus News - http://www.internettourbus.com/news.html
...then scroll down to the HOT TOPICS section and you'll see what news stories are most popular amongst Internet searchers. Right now these are some of the stories attracting the most online eyeballs:
Mythbusters - http://www.internettourbus.com/mythbusters-news.html
Holiday Bowl - http://www.internettourbus.com/holiday-bowl-news.html
Peter Sellers - http://www.internettourbus.com/peter-sellers-news.html
Mitch Albom - http://www.internettourbus.com/mitch-albom-news.html
There's a similar "buzz effect" in the SPORTS, MUSIC and TELEVISION categories where you'll find these topics:
Pat Tillman - http://www.internettourbus.com/pat-tillman-news.html
Britney Spears - http://www.internettourbus.com/britney-spears-news.html
Desperate Housewives - http://www.internettourbus.com/desperate-housewives-news.html
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That's all for now, I'll see you next time! --Bob Rankin