brer_rabbit writes "CNET was just today handed USPTO patent #6,073,241 titled Apparatus and method for tracking world wide web browser requests across distinct domains using persistent client-side state. The patent implies that CNET is able to track a browser across multiple domains for "advertisers to tailor their content to users."" We here at slashdot conducted our usual thorough legal review of the patent ("Hey guys, does this say what I think it says?") and we're agreed: the entire business method of DoubleClick, Matchlogic, 24/7 and other banner advertising networks has been patented. CNet now has a legal monopoly, issued and enforced by the U.S. of A., on banner advertising networks. CNet filed the patent on August 29, 1996; DoubleClick started operations in early 1996.