nicolas leroy

Patent sillyness…

July 17, 2008

Reported by TechCrunch today:

Channel Intelligence, a company based in Florida, filed a lawsuit for patent infringement in Delaware on Tuesday against a long list of startups and other companies and individuals who have one thing in common – they offer wish lists for products people may want others to buy for them. […] The patent in question, No. 6,917,941, appears to cover the invention of creating a list of things in a database. It was issued in July 2005. Defendants include Lemonade, Scott Aikin, de Brun Design, Listafterlist, MindValley, My Life Registry, On My List, Remember The Milk, Shimon Rura, Stylehive, Sprout, Chad Van Norman, WhiteStripe, WishCentral, WishList and Zlio. Channel Intelligence alleges that none of the defendants have licensed their patent to create lists. In a database.

Sillyness… There has been some debates regarding software patents for years, with different positions in the US or in Europe. Wikipedia has an complete article on the subject. For me, this “wishlist patent” is clearly a trivial patent; as explained by Wikipedia: “Most software patents cover either trivial inventions or inventions that would have been obvious to persons of ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made“.