The patent system, as it stands, is kind of a silly mess. The usual cycle is that companies patent anything and everything they can get away with in order to prevent themselves from being trolled only to then troll others with their menagerie of ridiculous patents. It’s a numbers game, and something’s bound to stick. For example, Go Daddy now has a patent for “announcing a domain name registration on a social website” in their stable. Perhaps someone should patent “announcing a relationship status change on a social website” before Facebook gets there first.
In Go Daddy’s defense, they very specifically claim the process of having the domain registrar hooked to a social account, like Facebook or Twitter, and then announcing a domain name registration on a delay to that account. On the other hand, this doesn’t seem all that different from announcing, well, anything else on a social website. It’s also a rather broad patent, as “social websites” doesn’t just include what one might traditionally consider traditional social media outlets — YouTube and Flickr are social websites.
It’s not like this has been an easy process for the company either. They originally filed in late 2009 and have been going back and forth with the examiners in their attempts to achieve the patent. In essence, Go Daddy split the tiniest of hairs in order to slide this one past, but the implications of this particular patent likely mean that it will only further confuse the issue when other advances include similar functionality.
Anyone that argues this particular ability that Go Daddy’s just been granted is a true representation of innovation likely doesn’t understand the meaning of the word.
Relevant to your interests
- Ask Patents was actually launched to help stop this kind of tomfoolery
- Google+ might finally allow anonymous profiles
- Samsung owes Apple a lot of money