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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    What do you think of "business-method" patents? Did you know that Priceline.com has a patent on reverse auctions, the name-your-price method of buying?

    I just read about another business-method patent. Let's say you visit a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, order your meal, and the total comes to $6.42. Then the cashier says, "I have a deal for you. For your leftover change, you can get either a small drink or a chicken strip." You then choose the small drink which usually sells for $1.10, bringing your total to $7. This method is called up-selling, and is patented by Walker Digital Corp., the same Jay Walker who founded Priceline.com. A cut of the upsell will go to his company.

    It seems like patenting is getting out of hand. What do you think?
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
    FrappyDoo Forums

  2. #2
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    Absolutely ! The 'dot-com's have come up with more creative ideas each day. Amazon.com patented the so-called 'One-Click Shopping' business methodology. Err ..... what the ..... ?? I mean, everytime somebody else improves their shopping cart process to become a 'One-Click' process - It's violating Amazon's intellectual property. I certainly think it's out of hand. No doubt. But again, what can we do to change that ?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    I have never heard of this. Perhaps I am confused on terminology.

    Patents usually refer to a physical object or procedure and are enforced for 17(?) years.

    Copyright usually refers creative material like a song or a VBScript code. For example, if you wrote some type of ASP or PHP code that created a particular 'one-click shopping' program, you could copyright that code. Copyrights are enforced for 70 years or longer.

    Trademarks on the other hand refer to a logo or slogan that represents an entity. For example, if Amazon was marketing their 'One Click Shopping' service, they could legally protect it as a trademark. Similarlly, I think Mastercard is/was/going to sue PETA for mimicking their 'priceless' style of commercial.

    IMHO, if you come up an idea, you should have the right to protect it.
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    but the problem is when you didn't come up with the idea...For example, Amazon wasn't the first company to use "one-click" shopping. I can't give an example, but I KNOW there were other places that had that. Amazon was just smart enough to get a patent for it.


    And what about that guy that claims he invented the hyperlink? I think that's a little weird...and if it was true and they decided to enforce it - that could be a lot of money...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Westmich - You can patent a process. av1988 is correct that Amazon.com patented 1-click shopping.

    Read about British Telecom's claim to have invented Internet linking technology at The Industry Standard.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
    FrappyDoo Forums

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Patents have a duration of 14 years and can be renewed an addition 2 times for a full patent life of 42 years.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Patent and copyright laws need to be either completely abolished or severely reformed and highly limited in their scope.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    LUZER -

    Do you think its wrong to protect one's own property? Is it wrong to make a profit?
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
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  9. #9
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Property ownership is one mark of a morally weak society.

    Who do copyright and patent laws really protect? They protect the rich. What use does a poor starving artist have for copyright? A copyright is only as strong as your ability to defend it, a priviledge which is generally reserved for the rich.

  10. #10
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LuZeR
    Property ownership is one mark of a morally weak society.

    Who do copyright and patent laws really protect? They protect the rich. What use does a poor starving artist have for copyright? A copyright is only as strong as your ability to defend it, a priviledge which is generally reserved for the rich.
    Which would be fixed be reforming the legal system, not by doing away with copyrights.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    And how many poor or middle class people have been able to gain wealth through a copyright infringement?

    If there was no copyright protection, it would only benefit the rich. If fact, without the protection and benefit of copyright, there wouldn't be much incentive to create and invent. Who wants to devote months or years inventing a 'better mousetrap' just to have some else finacially benefit from it.

    The commercial trade of property and ideas is what makes this country great. Socialism/communism does not work. Now, with open trade established between USA and China, you will see major reforms within China. Maybe the eventual collapse of the communist government in China with North Korea to follow.
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
    http://www.mindscapecreative.com

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by westmich
    If there was no copyright protection, it would only benefit the rich. If fact, without the protection and benefit of copyright, there wouldn't be much incentive to create and invent. Who wants to devote months or years inventing a 'better mousetrap' just to have some else finacially benefit from it.
    I'll have to agree with westmich on this one. If there were no copyright protections, the big guys would be able to copy anything somebody invented.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
    FrappyDoo Forums


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