IBM thinks the eighties didn't happen.
Shut the front door!
Given that patents are designed to protect “new, useful and non-obvious” inventions, we were at least pleased to spot one tiny difference.
IBM’s application (originally filed in 2010) also lets you notify people when you are about to go on holiday.
Now we like anything that makes it easier to go on holiday. Holidays are great.
But we’re also thankful to see digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation put the writing on the wall.
IBM wins “stupid patent of the month”, the group has declared.
“The Patent Office spent years going back and forth on whether IBM’s claims were new, compared to a particular 2006 patent application. But it never considered any of the many, many, existing real-world systems that pre-dated IBM’s application.”
Wisely, the company has decided not to profit from the ‘OOO’ patent – which is instead dedicated to the public.
Flashdance celebration anyone?