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Google Patents Telling Time 267

theodp writes "Will Google's battle against Microsoft and Apple over their use of 'bogus' patents result in greater scrutiny of its own IP holdings? Take Google's new patent on 'Electronic Shipping Notifications' (please!), which might pique the interest of, UPS, the USPS and others in the shipping business, since providing customers with guesstimates of what time The King of Queens will show up at their door with Christmas presents could now constitute patent infringement. From the patent: 'The broker sends an electronic message, such as an email or text message, to the customer prior to the estimated shipment arrival time to inform the customer of the impending arrival. The customer can thus arrange for someone to be at the shipping address to receive the shipment at the estimated arrival time.' To help the USPTO understand its invention, Google supplied this diagram."

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."