IBM patents Web page template tool

Patently absurd

We thought the US patent office outdid itself when it granted Network Associates' McAfee division a patent for updating anti-virus software over the Internet, but we should have remembered it has form for this sort of thing.

After all who could forget the ongoing BT hyperlink patent debacle?

The august institution's latest wheeze has been to grant IBM a patent for a Web page template tool.

US Patent 6,304,886 (filed in June 1998 but granted earlier this week) explains how "a Web site creator is prompted by the tool through a series of views stored in the tool to select the features and options desired for the Web site."

"Based on the identified templates and supplied data, the tool generates the customized Web site without the web site creator writing any HTML or other programming code," the patent summary states.

All this sounds like the wizards used in HTML editors, which are a widely used and well-established technology.

Not that such things seem to bother the US Patent Office, of course. ®

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