We finally have my kind of people in the Patent Office: drooling morons!
Yes, my buds at the USPTO have granted AOL a patent for instant messaging.
Actually, I shouldn’t be too hard on the boys and girls up there. I read the patent abstract, and it took two hours before I could communicate with a living human again. The whole thing sounds like a geeky training manual for how to talk to a girl:
Interactions between users of a computer network are facilitated by transmitting a first user’s proposal for an activity to another user, with the proposal including one or more parameters descriptive of the proposed activity. A response received from the other user may include a counterproposal having one or more parameters descriptive of the proposed activity, with at least one of the parameters of the counterproposal differing from a corresponding parameter of the proposal. The users automatically engage in the proposed activity using the parameters included in the counterproposal upon acceptance of the counterproposal by the first user.
The problem is that this patent is so wide-open that it could allow anyone who’s ever exchanged voice messages, played an online game, found a route from one client computer to another (ping), transferred files, engaged in instant messaging, exchanged avatars, or participated in a chat room to fall under AOL’s right to collect royalties.
AOL to the Internet: “NONE SHALL PASS!”
Man, I gotta think of a few obscurely-worded concepts to patent, so I can jump on this gravy train. How hard could it be? More to come…
[ Also on BlogCritics ]