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Amazon Patents Pitching As-Seen-On-TV Products 83

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it-slices-it-dices-it-edits-slashdot dept.
theodp writes "Q. What do you get when you surround the image of Men in Black star Will Smith trying on sunglasses with a pitch for 'MIB Bill Smith Dark Shades'? A. U.S. Patent No. 8,180,688. 'Many people consume broadcast media such as television shows and movies for many hours a week,' Amazon explained to the USPTO in its patent application for a Computer-Readable Medium, System, and Method for Item Recommendations Based on Media Consumption. 'The consumed broadcast media may depict a variety of items during the course of the transmission, such as clothing, books, movies, accessories, electronics, and/or any other type of item.' So, does Amazon's spin on As Seen on TV advertising deserve a patent?"
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Amazon Patents Pitching As-Seen-On-TV Products

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  • Re:Yup. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:46PM (#40051931)

    So, does Amazon's spin on As Seen on TV advertising deserve a patent?"

    Yes. If you read the patent, you'll see why.

    What are you high? We don't have time to read the patent, we've got better things to do - like complain in other stories about how the editors suck and the summaries are always wrong. So instead, we're just gonna base our opinion on our gut reaction to the summary.

  • Re:Yup. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:51PM (#40051961)

    Read it and the answer is no. Recommending items based on other items or services consumed is nothing novel. U.S. Patent No. 8,180,688 is just a variant, yet another iteration of that process. Patents require novelty and nonobviousness; that patent provides neither.

  • Does that mean (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:55PM (#40051981)

    Does that mean that Amazon is paying royalties to every the manufacturer of every item in one of their "As seen on TV?" For instance, just because the sunglasses may be the product in questions, what about the shoes the model is wearing? Surely, Amazon is not trying to patent other people's copyrights or to use them in their own get rich scheme without paying the royalties, are they?

  • Re:Yup. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:01PM (#40052013)

    So, does Amazon's spin on As Seen on TV advertising deserve a patent?"

    Yes. If you read the patent, you'll see why.

    I read the patent and I don't see why. While the patent in question has nothing to do with "as seen on tv" as the summary suggests, it is all about electronically analyzing purchasing habits to make recommendations for other purchases. My local grocery store has been doing this for years. Ebay was doing it before Amazon even existed.

    The patent is basically about harvesting consumer data to perform market research and there are gobs of prior art in existence. So, no, it does not deserve a patent.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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