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IBM Patents Idle Your Rights Online

IBM Snags Patent On Half-Day Off of Work Notifications 163

theodp writes "The USPTO appears to have lowered the bar on obviousness, awarding a patent to IBM Tuesday for its System for Portion of a Day Out of Office Notification. 'Out of office features in existing applications such as Lotus Notes, IBM Workplace, and Microsoft Outlook all implement a way to take a number of days off from one day to many days,' acknowledges purported patent reformer Big Blue. 'Yet, none of these applications contain the feature of letting a person take a half-day or in more general terms, x days and x hours off.' Eureka! And yes, the invention is every bit as obvious as you can imagine."
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IBM Snags Patent On Half-Day Off of Work Notifications

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  • by mounthood ( 993037 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:01PM (#38651724)
    Where's the payoff for the avalanche of poor patents? IBM isn't getting paid, the USPTO isn't better off, so are the politicians getting paid? Why is this system continuing? Two reasons I can see: protection for the largest companies against new start-ups, and getting foreign countries to adopt US Patent laws and extort their corporations. But is that really it, is that the whole game? IBM isn't full of idiots and the politicians are (always) working an angle, so why this continued patent madness?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982