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Starbucks seeks to patent loyalty card

A patent attorney and his donkey

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Patent sleuth Theo DP writes, "Looks like Microsoft and Amazon may have some competition in the worst-Seattle-patent-ever contest."

That's a tall latte, because when it comes to fatuous patents, Amazon.com and Microsoft have raised the bar very high.

But he notes that this week two Starbucks patent applications seek to protect the electronic loyalty card. One, application (#20050077350), aims to cover a "dual card", a combined credit card and electronic loyalty card for Starbucks own stores, for example.

A second application (#20050080672) by the same applicants seeks to protect the transactional system that exchanges data between the loyalty card and the credit card. Traditionally, the credit card cartel takes mandatory fees from vendors. With this patent, Starbucks looks to turn the tables on this arrangement.

The second filing is embroidered with some purple prose, and reads like the script to a made-for-schools documentary. Clearly someone at the law office of Christensen, O'Connor, Johnson, Kindness PLLC is working hard to justify their fees. Cue the banjo music -

"Early intrepid hucksters carried their goods on their back or on their donkey, working their way from a harbor town through the backcountry limiting their sales to stock on hand for transactions with would-be consumers. Persuasive sales skill was less important in those days of hungry demand, and orders were readily forthcoming."

As opposed to today's intrepid hucksters, who rush down to the US Patent Office before they've even sold anything.

With the modern USPTO, who needs a donkey?®

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