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A Patent Tree Grows In Seattle

samzenpus posted 1 year,11 days | from the call-paul-bunyon dept.

Patents 37

theodp writes "Among the featured attractions for the kids at the just-opened $10 million Bezos Center for Innovation in the $60 million Museum of History & Industry in Seattle is a 'Patent Tree'. The museum opening marks the end of a week for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that saw his personal and managerial life put on display with the release of an excerpt from The Everything Store, a new book by Brad Stone, who reveals how he found Bezos's long-lost biological father."

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Indoctrinate (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115323)

Indoctrinate early and often. It helps keep discussions from being logical, which in turn helps stop people from realizing when the side of an issue they were led to believe in is designed to make their life worse for the benefit of others.

Re:Indoctrinate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115345)

Indoctrinate early and often. It helps keep discussions from being logical, which in turn helps stop people from realizing when the side of an issue they were led to believe in is designed to make their life worse for the benefit of others.

That cuts both ways, doesn't it?

Re:Indoctrinate (1)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115361)

As if. . .

This is just what happens from lazy editors/contributors on the weekends when they phone it in based on a one from column A, one from column B summary.

Might as well be another 'President Lincoln's Doctor's Dog' episode.

Re:Indoctrinate (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115701)

It would be okay if it weren't for the additional 5 days of weekend /. editors have every week.

"Patent Trees" (2013) (1)

theodp (442580) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115341)

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer: [wikipedia.org]

"Patent Trees" (2013)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a patent tree.

A patent tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A patent tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A patent tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only the Bezos Center for Innovation [mohai.org] can make a patent tree.

Hi Theodp (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45116075)

Customers with purchase histories similar to yours, and those who looked up Joyce Kilmer: [wikipedia.org] also considered this product! [amazon.com]

Re:"Patent Trees" (2013) (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | 1 year,11 days | (#45116505)

That's lovely. Where's my patented copper nail?

Cut it down, cut it down! (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115347)

"Indeed, as I learned, there were on the planet where the little prince lived -- as on all planets -- good plants and bad plants. In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth's darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin -- timidly at first -- to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.

Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of that planet was infested with them. A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces..."

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince", 1943)

One click (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115351)

So the guy who pretty much sparked off the patent arms race with his "one click" patent non-sense is now building a shrine to his climb up the ladder of success, which largely consisted of him stomping on the fingers of everyone he climbed over. And it's in Seattle no less, pretty much the city that bathes itself in Irony showers daily.

Beautiful symmetry. Brings a tear to my eye.

Re:One click (2)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,11 days | (#45116031)

As much as I hate Bezos, the patent arms race has been around for a LONG time, with sewing machines in the 1800s, for example.

In computers, in the 50s and 60s people were trying to patent computer instructions.

In the 80s, we have stuff like this story where IBM nearly destroyed Sun with patents [osnews.com] . And by that time they were already experienced.

That might not even be the worst, in the 70s there were stories of companies starting fires in each other's warehouses, etc. (see Soul of a New Machine for a source to that rumor).

Re:One click (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45116805)

A douschebag city celebrating a douschebag.

Why does this surprise you?

Re:One click (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45118769)

Every overrated, misguided, and plain wrong comment you make is quickly moderated to +5 before it cools eventually to +1 or +2. Who are you and what is your game?

Re:One click (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,10 days | (#45118891)

And it's in Seattle no less, pretty much the city that bathes itself in Irony showers daily.

No no, You're thinking of Silicon Valley, Seattle is different... Yeah, its by the sea and we also put an end to the bathing in the 80's, but it doesn't rain irony here. What you're thinking of is something else: That first stretch of the morning, arms held high... it's the fog of irony that rolls forth.

Wasn't that in the Garden of Eden? (4, Insightful)

Zibodiz (2160038) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115397)

I think it was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (except in this case, probably just the evil part.) Or, if you're a corporation, I guess it might be the Tree of Everlasting Life.

Re:Wasn't that in the Garden of Eden? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115715)

This tree has one stream of patents moving upwards to where all patents are accepted equally and one stream of patents moving downwards where they will burn forever, never to see the light of day again.

You decide which is good and which is evil.

doesnt look like a tree (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115479)

its just some random thing you pop into, read like 2 things and leave, oh I get it now leave, tree, it all make since now

BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115499)

For every single individual driven to the point of self-destruction to achieve an objective, there are thousands who are not successful possessing the same level and degree of drive. Not everyone is in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason.

The truth is, sensationalized stories that put one man upon a pedestal over the thousands that got him there are the worst kind of fascist, industrialist tripe; this is childish aggrandizement in the extreme. You will find amongst these stories there is no one thing that these men do that works, and very little of what they do makes sense.

A very dangerous tree (1)

Chemisor (97276) | 1 year,11 days | (#45115577)

They should call it Anchar [poetryloverspage.com]

Re:A very dangerous tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115989)

Yes, here's a picture of it: http://flix66.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Little-Shop-of-Horrors.jpg

Re:A very dangerous tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45116541)

What are you some kinda faggot. The only thing manly men are allowed to take an interest in is Football, flatulence and fornication. Seriously, you have lost all your man points. YOu should forevermore the known as the gay dude. Dude. There is like nothing worse than being gay. Especially by random people on the internets. You should seriously consider your life, and ask yourself, why, why in the world, you did not take football more seriously when you were younger. What serious messed up turns has your life taken when you would rather talk about poetry, than who won the game last night. You do realize that football is a 14 billion dollar industry. While the whole world is getting behind their favorite team, you are talking about poetry. Is there someone we can report you too. I mean if you don't like football, I am thinking the next moment you will be walking through the hall of your work shooting poeple with a shot gun. Football needs you. You need football.

Poison Patent Tree (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115611)

Bezos is synonymous with bad patents in my mind... all because of his one-click patent which makes a mockery of the entire patent system and undermines any validity his other patents might have.

To me a patent means that someone with money and power has staked out an area in the playground that he will bully others to protect... it has less and less to do with innovation.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,10 days | (#45117421)

Bezos is synonymous with bad patents in my mind... all because of his one-click patent which makes a mockery of the entire patent system and undermines any validity his other patents might have.

One-click is actually a great counterexample of your point - despite private bounties being placed on prior art [nytimes.com] , an EFF campaign seeking prior art [eff.org] , and four years of reexamination that confirmed patentability [patentlyo.com] , people still bring it up as if it were a "mockery of the entire patent system". Clearly ,that's not because the patent is invalid or obvious, since despite all of those efforts, no one has ever been able to show that - rather, it's because of the millions of dollars that have been spending in a propaganda campaign to convince software developers not to patent their inventions [krajec.com] . Accordingly, discussions of the one-click patent can be a great indicator of people who have been misled by that propaganda - frequently, without ever actually having read the claims of the patent at all (after all, it's not, by any means, a patent on "clicking once").

Re:Poison Patent Tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45117639)

Wow, what a bunk comment.

You try and defend software patents and cite Russ Krajec, patent attorney. This crank has some impressive statements on his site:

"there has been between $172M and $600M of effort spent on developing and maintaining the Linux kernel. That seems like a tremendous amount of effort just to duplicate someone else’s work. For that kind of money, each developer could have purchased Unix and spent their time developing something innovative, rather than reinventing the wheel."

http://www.krajec.com/blog/is-open-source-good-for-the-economy

Yes. Linux, anti-innovation. We should all have sided with SCO.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45117843)

This is a quote from an article written in 1968 which speculated what life in 2008 would be like (emphasis mine):

Computers not only keep track of money, they make spending it easier. TV-telephone shopping is common. To shop, you simply press the numbered code of a giant shopping center. You press another combination to zero in on the department and the merchandise in which you are interested. When you see what you want, you press a number that signifies “buy,” and the household computer takes over, places the order, notifies the store of the home address and subtracts the purchase price from your bank balance.

In other words, one click (phone keypad press) to confirm the purchase. The only difference is that Bezos's system is "on a computer" and the information is stored client side instead of server side. Technically no one had used one click purchasing on a computer, but common sense tells us that changing "one press on a keypad" to "one mouse click" is extremely obvious and should not be worth millions of dollars a year in royalties. But common sense and patent law are not the same and do not have the same standards.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45117931)

Great most of this talk you call "propaganda" is not about "not patenting your inventions", but about supporting the overhaul of the patent system, (or sometimes it's complete dissolution). Not that many people actually say "let's give them hell by depriving ourselves of our rights" - that would be childish and stupid. As long as the patent law stands, people should patent their stuff, only because currently there is no better way to ensure the safety of your invention and your profits, and big entities are actively fighting to keep it that way. That doesn't mean the patent system we have is good.

And you're seriously quoting a patent attorney as your source? Right, clearly because he's not the guy who would potentially lose THE MOST if the patent system is in any way altered. If you want to play this game, here's a source for you: http://patentabsurdity.com/watch.html

Then link should tell you everything. Or does it tell you just one side of the story? Funny thing is they actually supported their finds with statistics and data, whereas Mr Krajec basically made a bunch of accusations without giving any kind of evidence to support them. Is that was attorneys do nowadays? I'm kind of confused. And the even funnier thing is, he didn't even make the accusation you're making here when you quote this source. I think this essentially makes you a liar, doesn't it?

How about this: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/why-there-are-too-many-patents-in-america/259725/

Now this makes for a good source, because it lists the pros, the cons and even lists some of the possible solutions to the problem in an impartial manner. Read it please, and only then state your opinions.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | 1 year,10 days | (#45126603)

One-click is actually a great counterexample of your point - despite private bounties being placed on prior art, an EFF campaign seeking prior art, and four years of reexamination that confirmed patentability, people still bring it up as if it were a "mockery of the entire patent system".

The fact that the "one-click" patent may actually be a legally valid patent is exactly what makes it a "mockery of the entire patent system". A reasonable patent system (were such a thing not a logical impossibility) would exclude such patents. If ours does not, that just reaffirms how unreasonable the system is.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,9 days | (#45131961)

One-click is actually a great counterexample of your point - despite private bounties being placed on prior art, an EFF campaign seeking prior art, and four years of reexamination that confirmed patentability, people still bring it up as if it were a "mockery of the entire patent system".

The fact that the "one-click" patent may actually be a legally valid patent is exactly what makes it a "mockery of the entire patent system". A reasonable patent system (were such a thing not a logical impossibility) would exclude such patents. If ours does not, that just reaffirms how unreasonable the system is.

On what grounds would a "reasonable patent system" exclude it? It hasn't been shown to be anticipated or obvious in view of prior art, in spite of all of the efforts that have been thrown at it, so those wouldn't be reasonable grounds. Because it's related to computers? Because it's related to business? Is it reasonable to exclude an entire industry from patentability, even if their inventions are new and nonobvious? And if so, where do you define the boundaries of that industry: if you say business methods are out, then what about machines that help in business? If stuff related to retail is excluded, then what about stuff related to wholesale?

A "reasonable patent system" can't be an arbitrary one, so you must have clear and concrete grounds for why such inventions should be excluded from patentability.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

cwsumner (1303261) | 1 year,7 days | (#45155291)

On what grounds would a "reasonable patent system" exclude it? It hasn't been shown to be anticipated or obvious in view of prior art, in spite of all of the efforts that have been thrown at it, so those wouldn't be reasonable grounds...

Because we were using the functionality for years before that. Just because there is no prior patent, does not mean that there is no prior art.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,7 days | (#45155499)

On what grounds would a "reasonable patent system" exclude it? It hasn't been shown to be anticipated or obvious in view of prior art, in spite of all of the efforts that have been thrown at it, so those wouldn't be reasonable grounds...

Because we were using the functionality for years before that. Just because there is no prior patent, does not mean that there is no prior art.

You may be under a misconception that only a prior patent counts as prior art to invalidate a patent - that's not true. Any publication (patent, thesis, advertisement, white paper, functional spec, internet post, etc.) or any product counts as prior art and can be used to show the patent is not new or is obvious. And despite thousands of dollars in reward money for finding proof, none was found - no publications, no piece of software using the functionality, nothing.

Re:Poison Patent Tree (1)

cwsumner (1303261) | 1 year,6 days | (#45164813)

... And despite thousands of dollars in reward money for finding proof, none was found - no publications, no piece of software using the functionality, nothing.

Maybe there is something about the patent that we don't know about. What about it makes it different from prior common methods?

Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#45115871)

They were all either adopted or step-sons. I suspect that'll be grist for the annoying pop psychologists but I kinda find that angle interesting myself.

Re:Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,11 days | (#45116317)

Steve Jobs is from California and Larry Ellison is from Chicago.

On the other hand, Bill Gates, another Seattle tech company founder and CEO, was raised by doting (and extraordinarily well connnected) natural parents.

Fight evil with evil (1)

russotto (537200) | 1 year,10 days | (#45117267)

"Hello, Monsanto, have you ever heard of a Round Up Ready patent tree? What's that? Yes, I was thinking the registered trademark symbol when I said Round Up. But about that tree... Yes, a patent tree. You haven't? Great. In that case, could I get the name of a Seattle Round Up distributor?"

Bezo is Scrooge McDuck (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | 1 year,10 days | (#45118911)

Instead of swimming in his huge money vault like the cartoon character, Bezos builds monuments to himself that are pretend "museums".

Since it is no longer in fashion to pay artists to paint him as a heroic figure on a horse like Napoleon, or sculptors for larger then life marble busts so he can be a pretend emperor, he has a "patent tree". It's a substitute for a huge model of his penis.

So McDuck is funny, and even though he inevitably screws up because of this greed, he always realizes his folly and things turn out well in the end. Bezos wants to own the world, and it would fit in with his ego if the Blue Origin launch vehicle was designed to go to the moon and carve an image of his face that could be seen by everyone on Earth.

I prefer the fictional duck.

Quick! Cut it down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45118937)

Cut it down! Quickly before it grows any seeds!

Wouldn't it be ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#45121051)

If his biological father was called Pat Pending

After looking at the pic... (1)

Gibgezr (2025238) | 1 year,9 days | (#45134615)

I still don't know what a "patent tree" is.

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