Monday, July 17, 2006

Tuscaloosa paper weighs in against Friendster patent

Dwayne Fatherree of The Tuscaloosa News on the Friendster patent:

First, it makes it possible for Friendster’s management, if they wanted to end it all in a flash of legal glory, to file suit against any one or all of the social networking sites on the Web.

Second, it shows that anyone can file a patent application for almost anything and have it approved, regardless of how ludicrous the claim may be.

Fatherree argues a lack of priority by Friendster:

Friendster isn’t the first site to think about patenting the idea for a social networking site. filed for and received a patent on social networking several years ago. That didn’t help the company much. It went under and was sold, along with the patent that it held.


Patenting social networking is like patenting the corner barbershop. Unless there is some groundbreaking technology involved, like telekinetic information exchange or electron-based spiritual bonding, then the new patent has very little sparkle. It is merely a ton of paperwork and effort spent quantifying a different way of searching a database.


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