Why I refuse to purchase from Amazon.com
I haven't bought anything from amazon.com in a long time. I don't expect I ever will. I refuse to support an organization which continues to exploit the USPTO in obviously idiotic ways. Today I saw a news report entitled Has Jeff Bezos Patented E-Mail Discussion Groups?:
First he received a patent for 1-Click e-commerce. Now he has one for e-mail discussion groups. Last Tuesday, February, 25, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a new patent to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of online retailer Amazon.com, granting him exclusive rights to "a method and system for conducting an electronic discussion relating to a topic. As was the case when he and three other Amazon executives patented the company's 1-Click ordering system, Bezos has gained control of a technology that may not seem particularly innovative to the everyday Internet user.
Or anyone else, for crying out loud.
This is really getting out of hand. Companies try to patent hyperlinks (!), shopping carts, music downloads, and everything else under the sun, and because the USPTO doesn't know dick about computers, they get the patents. Of course they get thrown out the first time they go to court, but it costs companies huge amounts of money to defend against bogus patents. It's enough to make me want to turn anarchist some days.
Other companies with bogus patents:
- P# 5,960,411 Amazon.com - one-click purchasing
- P# 5,794,210 CyberGold - attention brokerage (essentially rewarding web users for looking at online advertising)
- P# 4,528,643 E-Data - download-based sales
- P# 5,774,870 Netcentives - online incentives
- P# 5,715,314 Open Market - electronic shopping carts (candidate for most unintentionally ironic patent)
- P# 5,794,207 Priceline - Buyer-driven prices/sales (haven't these guys ever heard of haggling?)
- P# 5,191,573 Sightsound - Downloadable music
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