Stupid Patent of the Month: Phoenix Licensing Trolls Marketers

Stupid Patent of the Month: Phoenix Licensing Trolls Marketers by Daniel Nazer.

From the post:

This month, we feature another yet another patent that takes an ordinary business practice and does it on a computer. Our winner is US Patent No. 8,738,435, titled “Method and apparatus for presenting personalized content relating to offered products and services.” As you might guess from its title, the patent claims the idea of sending a personalized marketing message using a computer.

Claim 1 of the patent is representative (the claims are supposed to describe the boundaries of the invention). It claims a “method of generating a set of personalized communications … with a computer system.” The steps are described at an extremely high level of abstraction, including things such as “accessing a computer-accessible storage medium” using “identifying content to distinguish each person from other persons.” The patent plainly proposes using ordinary computers to achieve this task. In fact, the “preferred embodiment of the apparatus” is illustrated in Figure 1 and includes fascinating, non-obvious details like a “display,” a “keyboard,” and a “mouse or pointing device.”

The Stupid Patent series was introduced in Introducing EFF’s Stupid Patent of the Month (July 31, 2014).

Help the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EEF) by licensing these posts for leather binding along with the referenced patents for presentation to the patent counsel of your choice.

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