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Stupid Patent Contest Winners 88

If you didn't see the original post, go ahead and check it out. Today we list the winners, carefully chosen from among over 900 submissions, wise-ass comments, trolls, and assorted other chain-yankers.

Grand prize
Patent on Gratuitous Recognition Solicitation, by Erasmus Darwin.

This was an obvious choice. It captured the spirit and style of a real patent application in every way, and was so stupid that the USPTO would almost certainly approve it as a real application, given the way the office has been behaving (badly) the last few years.

Honorable Mentions
This was a harder choice, but we finally settled on these three: One Handed Food, by Coplan, Drag-n-Drop Shopping, by booch, and Biological Lens Intermitent Natural Kovering(tm), by aidoneus

And here are the 11 entries that Slashdot moderators chose to grace with the coveted "Plus 5" ranking, from which we made the final selection. Winners, please email roblimo@slashdot.org to set up delivery for your prizes. I'll need your real names, street/shipping addresses, and (for tshirts) your shirt size.

Thanks to everyone who entered. This has been great fun.

The only thing we regret is that this amazingly stupid patent wasn't an entry. But it wouldn't have been eligble anyway because, believe it or not, it's real!

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stupid Patent Contest Winners

Comments Filter:
  • Has anyone else ever received a new mobile phone beore now with a plastic film cover over the display (WAP phones especially). Look similar to the idea in that real patent above doesn't it!

    Prior art anyone?

    dnnrly

  • Well, the links will redirect to the static page, but you won't be able to go directly to the comment. I don't really keep up on slashcode updates and ideas, but here's a fairly simple fix:
    make the comment titles anchors with respect to their cid. i.e. <A NAME="cid33">Title of Article</A> Then when the comments.pl redirects to the static, it also redirects with respect to that anchor #cid33


    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • do former Patent Examiners count?


    If they are "former", then yes they may be able to count. "One example of pre-existing art; two examples of pre-existing art; three examples..."

    Present Patent Examiners, on the other hand, appear not to possess this ability.

  • Why not submit Gratuitous Recognition Solicitation for a patent. Maybe clean it up a little bit, but hell, submit it. What'll they say? No? What if they say yes? That would be perfect ammunition against the patent office. Hell, why not slashdot the patent office with phony patent applications to screw up the works, slow them down and ruin their credibiltiy (well, more than it has been). /. should patent shitting or something more inane...that would really get someone's attention in Washington.

  • I hadn't had my coffee when I wrote that, and I wasn't nearly as coherent as I meant to be. To clarify: If I saw interest, I might actually help coordinate an effort to write up a choice few of these faux patents, submit them to the USPTO, and tell it to the world if any of them get accepted.

    Anyone similarly inclined may post here or contact me through my website.

    OK,
    - B

  • Not really, but each comment does get an anchor tag with the CID when it's archived, so individual comments can still be referenced that way.
  • Nahh...Just $.33 extra cash you have to pay for the phone...Radio Shack ought to be paying you to take them, instead.
  • Look here [slashdot.org] while you still can. You'll see that MY reply links to MY other post further down. Nyah nyah nyah!
  • They often use a plastic sheet to protect screens of clear plastic when shipping. They're sort of "stuck" on without adhevsive. Nokia phones have one over the screen as do sony VCRs etc..

  • Fighting is not the way, what the whole damn world should do about loons like this is just ignore them. Laugh in their faces. Poke them in the eye and walk slowly away, shaking your head sadly. If summonsed to court, reply politely with the insistent belief that the whole thing is an April Fool's or a prank by the guys from the office, asking that they knock it off now because it's starting to get old. If physically dragged into court, demand jury trial and request a nullification. Just whatever you do, never, ever take it seriously. Never treat it as real. It only encourages them and breeds lawyers.
  • Bah. Patents get in the way of 'small inventors' to the leech-like benefit of corporates and lawyers everywhere. Here's what Don Lancaster [tinaja.com] thinks of patents.
  • I do find it interesting that of all the Top 11 Stupid Patents, mine was the only one with a score less than 5.
    And a score of 1. O_o
    Bah
    Amazing, isn't it?
  • "If your friends want a license, they can call or write me. 480-614-3337 or 480-314-2416. The present terms are $.05 per square inch of screen protector adjusted annually by the change in the COLA voted by Congress for Social Security recipients, plus $5,000.00 administrative fee payable up front or at the rate of $.01 per square inch until paid."
  • Seeing as humans have been using plastic coverings for things ranging from book covers to plastic pockets in folders, how is it an invention that the thing you're covering happens to be electronic?

    If he can patent this, then I want a patent for the same plastic covering which protects a quantum machine. While we're at it I would like to also patent the concept of using coverings to protect an object.


    ---
  • I feel smart. I mean It's a government mind control project!
  • I bothered to read the original patent [teleport.com] and the reissue patent [teleport.com]. Here are my observations.

    From the original patent:
    "...the present invention comprises a relatively thin polymeric flexible shield adherably mountable to a viewing screen. The shield is of generally rectangular configuration formed with convexly outwardly extending peripheral edges with a single extending tab directed outwardly of a corner of the intersection of two of the edges to enable and enhance manual grasping of the shield. The shield may be polarized to reduce glare in daylight viewing conditions and be further provided with a plurality of transparent adhesive strips for enhanced securement of the shield to a viewing screen... My invention resides not in any one of these features per se, but rather in the particular combination of all of them herein disclosed and claimed and it is distinguished from the prior art in this particular combination of all of its structures for the functions specified."
    The Fellowes product, and other similar to it, are neither convex nor have an extending tab to enable and enhance manual grasping of the shield. Since the invention Mr. Warman calims is "in the particular combination of all of them herein disclosed and claimed," then the Fellowes product would seem to be exempt.

    It appears that Mr. Warman feels that the Fellowes product violates these clauses: "equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention," and "it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention."
  • by volpe ( 58112 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @06:51AM (#699473)
    Neither the microchip nor penicillin were patented. But then, you knew that, didn't you.
  • And maybe they wouldn't be improved. Money-grubbers do provide a lot more funding than the undeniable force does.
  • Governments, large corporations, rich nutcases and guilty industrialists

    Exactly. Without patents, they would have an even stronger monopoly on technology than they do now. At least in the current sytem, small inventors like James Dyson can have a fighting chance of competing with the huge corporations without getting their ideas pinched.
  • Here is a link to that amazingly stupid patent [delphion.com] on the IBM patent archive.
  • Where have I seen this: Winners, please email roblimo@slashdot.org to set up delivery for your prizes. I'll need your real names, street/shipping addresses, and (for tshirts) your shirt size.

    Translation: Trouble makers, stand up and be identified. Reward, one t-shirt.

    I know I've seen this concept somewhere else, but where?

    I suppose that this post is a wise-ass comment, one of 900 or so submitted for your entertainment, but wise ass was not covered.

  • As mentioned in the first reply [slashdot.org] to the One Handed Food suggestion, there's prior art on that one. It was the theme of a week's worth of the Sally Forth [kingfeatures.com] newspaper comic in early October. In fact, that's the batch that's in "2-week delay mode" as I write this...
  • I thought they said the 11 posts got the 'coveted +5'... mine's on there with a big fat Score: 2. Whoopee. ;-/
    (Thanks, though!)

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • 1. Nine 5s Reliability - A standard for software and hardware design that ensures 55.555% uptime.
    Is it just me, or wouldn't "nine 5s" imply 55.5555555% ?
  • ...Should be to harvest all the prior art needed to help invalidate Bill Warman's patent #RE.35,318.

    I can't imagine a nicer christmas present for a guy like Warman.


    "A microprocessor... is a terrible thing to waste." --

  • At least when I clicked on the link to see all the "+5" comments, I noticed at the bottom of the list, a comment with a measly score of 1. Posted by myself, nonetheless. I did a double-take, but sure enough, it is my post [slashdot.org] regarding Dogbert and zero-click shopping, listed with all the +5's. Cool...but how the heck did that happen?
  • Several stories have reported busting child support payment avoiders that has, up to a point, managed to stay one step ahead of law officals, whereby the police would send the deliquents a notice that they have won a prize (on the order of a big screen TV or new car), and to come to such and such an address to pick it up. They came, signed in as appropriate, and once the identify was confirmed, they were arrested.

    I think there was a Simpsons episode where they used the same trick, of course, the cops being who they are, it didn't go over very well...

  • When your post gets stuck at #859 [slashdot.org] (where nobody will see it because they got bored at #107 and went elsewhere), then you cross-link it in a reply [slashdot.org] to an early post, such as #48 [slashdot.org].

    But, alas, it doesn't always work, as I was not one of the Chosen Ones.

  • The LCD doesn't even come into it. Only Claim 1 mentions a "screen", and that refers to a different sort of screen protector and is also struck out. All the other claims speak of a "major surface portion" which clearly includes the TV remote I bought before 1990 that had such a "protector" on it.
  • you're right. with holiday season approaching, there'd be nothing more i'd like to give bill warman than a metric-fuckton of hard copy prior art delivered to his door so i never have to hear about him ever again.



  • Patent for a "Method for the consolidation summarization and transmission of a plurality of mailable materials" bought by your favourite non-tech company M$. (Marks & Spencer? NO! Microsoft)

    What it means is simply that billing organisations can participate in a clearing house system whereby participating subscribers get just the one summary bill every month, and can pay the lot with one cheque if they like. The clever bit, such as it is, seems to be merging the database info, or maybe printing on two sides of a sheet of paper according to this Register article [theregister.co.uk]

    Breakfast like a king,
    Lunch like a queen,
    Dine like a pauper.

  • ... a beowulf cluster of these patents!

    Sorry, I haven't seen enough beowulf cluster trolls as of late.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Right, and throwing up your vote to some asshole who doesn't address your political concerns, isn't wasting your vote?

    Secret tip: the voting booth is not an OTB, the goal is not to pick the winner, and you get nothing if you do pick the winner.

    You clearly don't understand what democracy is. Try practicing it before you open your mouth.

    If you think that you'd rather throw your support in with someone with a "better chance of winning," you should extract promises and ass-kissing from the candidate who would benefit from your change of vote, and nail his/her ass to the wall for failing to live up to those promises. Sounds too wimpy for you? Go live in Iraq, dickhead. Hard choices are what democracy is about; if you are too cowardly for them, get out of my country before you destroy democracy here.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • argh! I guess I need to get back to reading /. religiously... too bad it's sucked a little too hard for that lately :( anyway I missed the original call for entries, but I'm deeply amazed that the ultimate stupid patent wasn't even submitted... NO one thought to whip up a DeCSS patent? where are all the satirical geniuses that used to inhabit this place? HUH?! Oh yeah, the quality went down the shitter and we left, how could I have forgotten already?
  • i disagree with your claim.

    i knew friends who were into protecting touch-screens of this fashion (including palms but not the "traditional" electrically triggered touch screens) a very long time ago.

    they abused them so much on them that they actually put 3m tape on them to accomplish *BOTH* goals: both paper-like feel (in the time of the palm) and to reduce wearing on the surface of the polymer screen without the tape.

    cheers.

    Peter
  • This patent covers:
    1) Any disturbance in a gaseous medium which propagates as a longitudinal wave through the medium.
    2) Any device, including but not limited to those constructed from proteins, paper, metal which produces such disturbances as patented under section 1.
    3) Any form of serialised temporal entropy, whether conveying meaning, or random data which is transmitted via a disturbance as patented under section 1, including but not limited to entropy conveying human-human, human-computer or computer-human communications.
  • My entry will enable business to increase sales and profit margins, the CheckOutFromHell. When you go to check-out after entering credit card data, the program refuses to allow exit from web site until the credit card is maxed-out and purchases finallized. All attempts to link to another site, or start a new application fail. Upon reboot the computer system automatically connects to the web site. Sufficient data is stored in the system BIOS so that even a complete reinstall will automatically connect to the web site. Afer finalizing purchases, a Smiley Face with the legend below reads, 'Thanks for choosing to shop at xxxxxxx, have a good day!'

    Submit it quick before Microsoft does!

  • Thanks for the clue.
    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • I am just curious if any slashdot people actually work in a patent office or related?
  • I would like to patent taking note, and that way I can bring suit against anyone who takes notes.. that is how asnine some patents are today... oh well, and I am going to patent elipses too. ^_^
  • posting to this thread.... I will let you post, please agree to my terms by clicking here [thomaswinningham.com] before you continue. ;)

    ----

  • I'm going to patent patenting.
    ---------------------------
  • I don't know how long ago I read about using 3M's Magic tape over the Palm's screen, and specifically the grafiti area, but surely such published use would constitute prior art rendering this patent invalid?
  • i posted this as a joke last time, Calmtext Markup Language, the language for ridalin coders - but it looks like someone's already got to it. Un-freakin-believable.

    1. Where Your Vote Should Go [mikegallay.com]
  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @06:15AM (#699501) Homepage
    It doesn't work once the story gets archived, so the links listed above won't function properly after then. Is there a solution in the works for the slashcode?

  • I think we ought to apply for these patents just for the fun of it. I bet we'd get a couple. Then we can show everyone else how rediculous this all is and we can all laugh at the Patent Office together. How much money is involved in applying for/getting a patent?

  • If I don't agree to your terms, does that mean I'm not allowed to post?

    Hmmm... by asking this question, haven't not agreed to those terms yet, am I gonna get in trouble? ;)

    - systmc
  • Anyone have a mirror??
  • by llywrch ( 9023 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @07:18AM (#699505) Homepage Journal
    >Chalk this one up as another abuse of the patent system. I can't imagine why
    > the patent office didn't throw this one out... the reviewer must never have
    > owned an electronic device or even an etch-a-sketch.

    Could it be because of the words ``weather-proofing" and ``fish-finder"? Not being a commercial fisherman, I'd guess that in the late 1980's they did not have water-proofed viewing screens, & this guy came up with this as one solution, then patented it with dreams of making a fortune.

    And what happened? The obvious solution: the companies making fish-finders started making monitors that were sealed against the weather. This dweeb's patent was worthless.

    Until PDAs became popular, & people started protecting the screen by putting a clear adhesive over it. This dweeb saw his chance to make some money, & pay off his landshark bills.

    >What this needs is someone with deep pockets to sue this into the ground.

    Unfortunately, most people will find it cheaper just to throw money at this dweeb to make him go away. Which is what he & his landshark are hoping for.

    Ain't American Entrepreneurialism grand?

    Geoff
  • however the fact remains that patents do help to improve our lives. If it couldn't have been patented, do you think anyone would have spent the tinme developing the microchip?

    And then there are drugs patents. It might be obvious in hindsight that certain fungi have anti bacterial properties, but before pennicillin was developed, it wasn't. Should this patnet have been invalidated because of "obviousness"?
  • Too bad, but here's a couple I thought of:

    1. Nine 5s Reliability - A standard for software and hardware design that ensures 55.555% uptime.

    2. Optical Char Recognition - Algorithms for recognizing and classifying this fish commonly found in arctic regions of northern Canada.

    3. Dense Car Division Multiplexing - A system of merging multiple streams of cars into fewer streams of cars for transport over long distances. (Declared invalid due to existing implementations in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and New York)

    4. Non-Poetic Justice - A system of declaring legal judgements in free verse, patented to force the US Court System Judges' Rulings to come in the form of rhyming poetry in formats such as iambic pentameter, or trochaic tetrameter.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The patent of a screen cover protection is not a hoax, as can easily be verified by checking the patent number RE35,318 at the US patent office homepage database. [164.195.100.11]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    for the love of god man/woman, what in the world are you doing reading Sally Forth?
  • by Erasmus Darwin ( 183180 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @07:35AM (#699510)
    I would've posted something sooner, but today, of all days, I was too distracted to religiously check Slashdot for updates.

    ...and wouldn't you know it? I clicked on the link for this story, only to have Slashdot hang on me.
    And then while the page was actually loading, I got a phone call from a salesman at AT&T, so I had to refrain from looking at the winners until I could get him off the phone -- I figured if I suddenly started screaming, "Yes! Holy shit! Yes!" while still on the phone, I might wind up having to explain to my boss why we had a new 10 year long distance contract.
    And then after seeing it, I was just too excited to be coherent enough to actually sit down and type something. So I had to get up and wander around a bit to burn off the excess manic energy. The one small problem with that course of events is that, when you're at work, the best excuse to get up and walk around is to get a cup of coffee. Which means I'm now even more jittery and manic and starting to ramble on and on incoherently. Anyways...
    I just wanted to thank everyone at Slashdot, not just for running the contest and picking my entry, but for everything else they do, as well.
    My thanks also go out to the moderators, without whom, my entry wouldn't have been in the running in the first place.
    But most of all, I'd like to thank Natalie Portman, in a shameless effort to get this post modded up, because despite being able to cook up a bogus patent application for karma whoring and trolling, I still haven't been able to actually put those techniques into practice enough to get the "post at +2" bonus.

  • I think I'm going to have to second that motion about actually writing up and submitting some of the patents that were entered. If any were actually taken - and if we throw enough mud at the wall, some will stick - it could, perhaps, be parlayed into some actual media exposure and become a great bludgeon on behalf of patent law reform.

    Does anyone else think this might be a neat way to raise awareness of the issue?

    OK,
    - B

  • It doesn't work once the story gets archived, so the links listed above won't function properly after then. Is there a solution in the works for the slashcode?

    That was actually in the last release of slash... but it was removed when Taco found out it had been patented... :)

  • So, this rat-bastard wants five grand in exchange for the use of a piece of clear plastic not larger than my hand. And we wonder why this country is going to hell in a handbasket. If I wanted to keep my Visor Deluxe in a Ziploc Sandwich Bag(TM), I wouldn't run the risk of being hit up for $5000.35...but then it'd smell like a tuna salad sandwich. Yellow and Blue make Green, man! Waiter? Can I get some tort reform with that?
  • that's called "Denial of Serive attack."

    The patent office may not be too smart, but we should leave them alone and just make fun of them without interfering.

    And don't encourage that patent to get filed; it's a joke, if it really were enforceable then it would have terrible consequences, which is why it's funny.

    "Thank you for posting to slashdot; troll filters indicate you need to pay $.75 for that comment; enter your credit card number and expiration date below:"

    or:

    "As an anonymous coward you cannot post any comment with the words "Natalie Portman" in it; this is a violation of patent law. please log in or create an account."
    wait, this is good! No more ridiculous anonymous posts!
  • Well, The RE in the patent number means that this is a "reissue" patent. A reissue is granted to correct "a mistake" in the original patent it is based on. The reissue cannot add "new matter" (i. e., material not disclosed in the original patent specification, and the reissue filer must prove that there was no fraudulent intent involved. The claims may be narrowed or broadened, but if broadened, the reissue must be filed within two years of the issue date of the original patent.

    Changes in the reissue patent are shown with text removed enclosed in brackets [] and added text in italics (Underlined in the manuscript)
  • For a world-wode patent, you're probably looking at about $70k
  • Yay!! my patent made the top 11... you know... the one at the very bottom.... with the score of 1.... amongst all those others... with a score of 5.... but I made it. :)

    Synchis
    The worlds most popular, famous, and loved super hero...
    ...
    ...
    ...
  • The infamous cat exercising patent:

    US5443036: Method of exercising a cat [delphion.com]

    A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct.

    --
  • The link redirects you a page with the threshold set at 5. You still see all your own comments at any threshold (if you are logged in), no matter how lame they are. Not that your comments are lame... ;)
  • Waaay back, I read a WSJ article about imigration officials giving away a refidgerator to catch Mexicans. Ouch!

    Dead beat dads are a much better target.

  • There goes another part of my 15 minutes of fame.
    Too bad mine only scored a 1.
  • I hereby patent reading this post without moderating me up. Being that I haven't posted it yet, there can be no prior art.
  • Yeah sorry, I worded it badly. It was a combo thing. It's just that for me and the mate who persuaded me to get one it was the paper feel that was more important, and that part had been completely left out originally. FatPhil
  • I wonder if that moron(Warman)'s telephone will be ringing off the hook, due to mention on /. .

    If it does, is that a viable discription of the /. effect, or does the /. effect apply only to downed web servers?

    I'd like to mention that it's a long-distance phone number. While cheaper than a toll-free number(for Warman), actually picking the thing up for any number of the calls he'll get is going to rocket his phone bill...Pursuing the patent is going to cost him more than the patent is worth.

    I wonder if he has a fax machine?
  • Yup, you're right. It was an unfortunate coincidence that my Nine 5's machine happened to crash as I was typing the post. Another coincidence is that if you put the numbers of that patent name together, 9 and 5, you get 95, which is the commercial designation of the OS on my machine. Frailty, thy name be Windows 95.

    Cheers to all, and to all a good cheer.
  • Why don't geeks know how to build tension and suspense? Everybody knows the Honorable Mentions come before the Grand Prize. Tsk!
  • The 3M tape wasn't really to protect the screen, it was to provide a _paper-like_ feel to it. I.e. you got some friction and some audio feedback which would make using the stylus more pencil-like.

    FatPhil
  • Seems the winner never thought to patent the read a highly moderated post and repost it as a reply to a post higher up the list so those moderators get to you first to get free mod points. Guess ill patent that one :)

  • Maybe Slashdot should patent Beowulf so Microsoft and nanotech mutants from the future can't steal it and the government can't use it to hunt open source warriors.

    (Even a moderator with less than average intelligence would moderate this all the way up. Thanks in advance! :) )
  • You will not be allowed to ignore my übermoderated contribution [slashdot.org]! We want this stupid patent submitted to the USPTO!! We will pay for it!!

    --

  • There is an undeniable force drawing us to do what hasn't been done before; to do what "can't" be done; to boldly go where no man has gone before! err....anyway...Yes it would have been developed and maybe even better. Men are constantly striving to break the limits of knowledge and physics because they love the challenge. Getting rid of patents would get rid of money-grubbers and maybe even improve the end-product.

  • I hereby forthwit, and halfwit patent the "any" key. I shall be duly entitled to humm... lets say one cent each time the instructions are issued and carried out to "hit any key to continue". This covers 'any' and all situations calling for touching, caressing, or otherwise digitally manipulating 'any' key. And it doesn't make any difference if you say it or write it, I claim it all, if it has anything to do with 'any' key. So there! If you touch 'any' key my lawyers will calling you right after they finish beating up a defenseless old women.
  • What about the thin film that comes on top of many plastic or glass covers on products that you buy? I had to peel off the cover on just about every product I've gotten with a small screen of some sort.
  • Why don't geeks know how to build tension and suspense? Everybody knows the Honorable Mentions come before the Grand Prize. Tsk!


    Regrettably, Suspense Accentuation Through Preceding Announcement of Minor Prizes has been patented by the folks who brought you the big awards' show starting with O whose name you dare not use because it is trademarked.
  • I love the US patent system. I thereby submit my own patent, which shall cover using a non-silicon method of processing and correlating information, based on a spongey substance commonly found between a human being's ears. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get royalties off most lawyers and dimwits out there who persue such patent issues...

    People act like such babies over stuff like this. Imagine the human race, where we collectively grow up and make life better for everyone instead of squabbling. In my dreams...

  • Nice try, but this has already been patented by Nicola Tesla in the early 1900s. He actually did the experiment and caused an earthquake in New Jersey I believe.
  • Uhhhh, do former Patent Examiners count?
  • 2. Optical Char Recognition

    IWPTA "optional char recognition", which I think would make another keen patent application:

    Optional Character Recognition: An input system for electronic data processing machines by keyboard, mouse, scanner other other input devices, whereby characters entered by the user may, at the program's discretion and/or whim, be stored as the characters the user actually intended.

  • ...but there is just too much prior art...
    -----------
  • My entry will enable business to increase sales and profit margins, the CheckOutFromHell. When you go to check-out after entering credit card data, the program refuses to allow exit from web site until the credit card is maxed-out and purchases finallized. All attempts to link to another site, or start a new application fail. Upon reboot the computer system automatically connects to the web site. Sufficient data is stored in the system BIOS so that even a complete reinstall will automatically connect to the web site. Afer finalizing purchases, a Smiley Face with the legend below reads, 'Thanks for choosing to shop at xxxxxxx, have a good day!'

  • Read it here [delphion.com]


    Chalk this one up as another abuse of the patent system. I can't imagine why the patent office didn't throw this one out... the reviewer must never have owned an electronic device or even an etch-a-sketch. The application of a clear plastic film as a protective covering is so obvious that it has been used on watch faces, eraseable boards, glass sheets, bulk plexiglass, automotive parts, etc. etc. and these certainly predate 1992.
    Does the "innovation" of using it on a LCD make it patentable? I think we have our answer.
    What this needs is someone with deep pockets to sue this into the ground.
    whatever.
  • The link to the "real" patent for the screen cover protector is probably a hoax. As far as I know, the patent number that is referenced in the article, "US patent #RE.35,318", is nonsensical.

    Maybe this is sort of like how the New York Senate candidates were fooled by the fake, and also nonsensical, bill number for the alleged postal tax on email.
  • Ok, yeah, it's too late, but here it is anyway:

    Sonic Disruption Device

    Shockwaves will be generated by means of electromagnetic drivers anchored to bedrock at such intervals as to focus, directly through or by reflection within the body of the earth to coincide, beneath a specific location. Pulses within tolerances of necessary harmonics will damage or destroy targeted structures above ground.

    First test will be targeted at Zeeland, MI on Oct 18th.


    --
    Chief Frog Inspector
  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @06:41AM (#699544)
    my patent on checking links before posting them is prohibiting people from posting quality content.

    for some reason, even though I've granted a free-use license to my company, my boss is still reticent to check links before updating pages...

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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