Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Patenting Wikified

And another site for patent disinformation, images and marketplace is up-and-clicking, www.wikipatents.com. The usual mix of searching, PDF downloading, blogging and patent marketplace (speaking of PDFs, how many more years of lies from PTO management are we going to have to endure on why the PTO refuses to make PDF images available, as opposed to the insane TIFF format they now make available? - seriously, are there children managing the PTO computer systems?)
Anyway, one aspect of the Web site is the WikiPatents Marketplace, where companies can list patents for sale - www.wikipatents.com/marketplace.php - which is highly entertaining for the seriously, or hallucinogenically deluded valuations given by some of the patent owners. I have always thought that patent valuations is a bit of a con job, and this site reinforces my belief. Case in point. One patent available for sale is U.S. Patent 6,868,444, titled "Server configuration management and tracking", basically a set of distributed Web servers, with a May 2000 filing date. Claim 1 A web hosting system comprising: a plurality of geographically separate web hosting facilities associated with a web hosting provider; a plurality of servers located at each of said facilities having internet resources hosted thereon; and a server inventory database remote from at least some of said geographically separate web hosting facilities, said database configured to allow access to a first portion of the database by first user and access to a second distinct portion by a second user. This is nothing more than a distributed database server, technology which dates back to the 1990s, if not earlier. It is a mostly crap patent, made worse by the usual fact that it cites no non-patent prior art. Yet the owner of this patent claims it has an estimated value of: $1,280,904,608 Now I ask, how much drugs do you have to simultaneously sniff/snort/inject to think this piece of crap patent is worth over one billion dollars? And what does this nonsense say about the credibility of the Web site, and the other Estimated Values for patents listed on the Web site? Not much. So if you need a good laugh, definitely visit this Web site.

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