Saturday, August 25, 2018

Laundromats, wifi cafes still targeted by patent trolls; shell company industry still lobbies Congress to overturn "Alice"

Joe Mullin has an instructive “stupid patent of the month” column July 31 that continues to discuss the problem of “abstract patents”.

The latest case involves Upaid, a company in the British Virgin Islands, attacking laundromats for using prepaid cards or accounts. These accounts are associated with “Card Concepts” and “Laundry Card”. Quite mundane and proletarian indeed. 

I can remember that the prepaid card distribution industry was touted as a possible business opportunity for otherwise unemployed people in the post 9/11 job market recession.

EFF also discusses another case involving simply offering WiFi to customers in a hotel lobby or café.
And patent shell companies are trying to lobby Congress to roll back the Alice decision that limits “do it on a computer” patents.  So that’s another reason why small business and individual speech matters, to counter the bureaucracy of the lobbying industry – and partisanship.

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