back to article Chocolate Factory moves into the fridge

It’s hard to decide which is worse: the breathtaking triviality of the patent, or the idea that Google doesn’t just want to see your fridge, it wants to track changes of ownership. The patent in question, US 8,091,772, was granted on January 10, part of a clutch winding its way through to publication in the last fortnight to …

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Paris Hilton

Can patent holders withhold licensing?

Ie, is it possible to patent an idea, and then refuse to let anybody use that idea? Or, say, ask for a gajillion per second for the license (assuming it is not FRAND)?

Genuinely interested. Logic would dictate it is not, but then again, patents and logic do not mix well.

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Generally, yes, but the patent doesn't last as long if it's not being exploited. I'd imagine it's not in Google's interests to do this however, as it's the data from this technology they want, and that involves the technology being integrated into devices. I doubt they'll move into washing machine manufacturing soon!! What's in it for the equipment manufacturers to integrate this into their household goods though is another thing. I can't imagine that the value of this data is worth the cost of the hardware, and any manufacturers advertising they've not got this system would have a head start and a more saleable product. However, I don't really care if Google know I've just bought a new fridge or not.

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Holmes

Prior Art

Show me the Car Fax...

Essentially the same concept, but just for cars.

you have a chain of ownership/registration.

Car accidents and repair history....

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Meh

So they patented automated warrenty registration as well by this

I'm not too sure how to take this, in many ways if I buy something then I will register it for warranty. I'd have no problem with this, indeed from an insurance point of view this only helps, though in that respect i'm sure it will eventual get abbused by spoofed automatic generators perhaps down the line.

The aspect that I have a somewhat acute concern for is that some company will have sat on the internet a attached database that has a list of the goodies in my house. This is not something you generaly advertise since the advent of netcurtains, non-translucent bricks and curtians. The prospect that down to some bug that from a developer account you can goto google maps and pull up a satalite view, then goto streetview mode, thru the door and see a layout of your house with appliances included. Unlikely, though not impossible. That said alot of people don't think twice about posting a picture of every room of there house on facebook and the like's.

I'm not too sure how this will play out with amazon and ebay, especialy since alot of home kit can and does run through a setup that will automaticly register your product already. So in many respects it's a bit too open IMHO to actualy be something that is patentable, but we are talking USA patents right, not EU patent rights? I'm of the opinion there different and as such, with USA patent law, somebody in EU could do a patent and if somebody in the USA see's that patent they can submit it in the USA and if there first to submit they win. But it's not that silly, is it?

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Anonymous Coward

obligatory

"They can have my espresso machine when they pry it from my cold dead fingers."

or:

"They may take our cars, but they'll never take..

OUR FRIDGES!!"

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry Dave I can't let you do that

This is the 4th time this evening since 8.30pm you have opened the Fridge door and snacking is not permitted.

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Targetted Ads

Surely this is yet another move to hone their ad filters - showing you adverts based on the age of the appliances in your home.

"It looks like you need a new trouser press, why not try one of these!"

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Silver badge

Teasmade for the web age.

I assume the objective is part of the plot to monitor what's in our fridges and "remind" us that we're running out of milk, etc. via ads on an interactive Google kitchen whiteboard. Or, worse, order more goods to be delivered by Google's retail clients.

This sort of networked integration will probably prove as useful -- or plain stupid -- as a Teasmade (for US readers; a cosy device with an alarm clock and electric kettle will wake you to a nice cup of tea).

One lesson we should have learned by now is that, just because it's possible, we don't have to do it.

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Windows

Thank God you spelt it right...

I thought you were going to the old joke about a Gobblin' Teasmaid.

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Prior art

Hasn't this concept existed since the very first lock with a key was invented? Not to mention smartcards used in satellite/cable boxes, software license schemes based on the MAC address of an ethernet card, cars with keyless locks, etc. etc..

It really is time the USPO hired some technically-savvy examiners.

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Anonymous Coward

How tech-savvy do you need to be?

Operation of a rubber stamp is a skill that can be mastered in as little as a week of intensive training

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Re: Prior art

No, it's a brand new invention. It has been rendered novel by the addition of "...on the Internet" to all claims of the patent.

-dZ.

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Anonymous Coward

Google wants to prevent anyone else using something like a SIM to identify ownership

But we already use something exactly like a SIM (it's called a SIM) to identify ownership of devices. So there would seem to be some prior art.

This must be prevented. If Google takes ownership of car registrations, they'll monetise it by flashing contextual ads on a heads-up display. 'Looking for a personal injury lawyer?'

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Joke

Optional

'Looking for a personal injury lawyer?'

*crash*

Well I wasn't until your advert distracted me...

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FAIL

is this LoJack for appliances?

How did this get approved?

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Big Brother

Rip it out?

This seems like an odd thing. Why would anyone want this in their fridge? Is appliance-theft really that big of a problem?

Seems like just another way for Google to monitor stuff about people...

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