In the continuing worrisome trend of US patent office incompetence, news.com reports that Open Market has been awarded extremely broad patents covering much of the software in common use today for Internet shopping and credit card payments. Larger companies can cross-license or claim patent infringement against Open Market, but smaller ones will be screwed. Nice to know that the fine tradition of patenting prior inventions, such as wheels (also awarded this year) continues in the US.
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