Apple patents shopping lists
Yet another fantastic use for the cloud
Apple has been granted a patent on organising shopping lists, but not on shopping itself despite appearances.
At a glance the design does look like it covers lists of desired products, gathered by either scanning barcodes with a phone camera, waving a mobe over wireless NFC tags or typing in product descriptions. However, even Apple wouldn't try to pull a stunt like that and the patent actually covers what's done with the list once it has been assembled.
Apple's, er, innovation involves sending a shopping list to a server that works out the best place to buy the listed goods, based on price, location and user preference, then sorts the list into sub-lists organised by retailer - and could even suggest the most efficient route between the shops.
The blueprints, which was filed back in 2008, could prove useful. It would need considerable resources to gather the information on retailers, and that, combined with the lack of any obvious way to make money out of such a product, may present insurmountable barriers, but that doesn't make the patent invalid.
But with shopping for essentials moving online, the retail, er, experience is increasingly about browsing the shelves and trying things one didn't know one wanted, an experience even Apple's iPhone can't quite replicate. ®
why the bloody hell can you patent stuff like this?
Is anyone else getting really fed up with this nonsense?
Re: I'm getting fed up with the volume of ignorant comments on patents
Does anyone remember the days when innovators just created products, built companies, hired people, and increased overall wealth? Now that seems like a pretty difficult thing to do. Why? Because regulation, patent Lieyers and all the crap that goes with it are stifling what was once a bright and exciting place to be.
No amount of lawyer-speak is ever going to bring those halycon days back., which ended when Apple decided to sue Microsoft for stealing THEIR "look and feel". Now, instead of creating things, innovators will just have to keep looking over their shoulders, keeping their eyes peeled for people who add no value while trying to add value to an economy that badly needs some CPR:. Result? less innovation, less investment, less risk taking, less jobs.
Q. How many patent lawyers does it take to suffocate an economy?
A: 2, and then they replicate exponentially to feast on the corpse (I think I made that one up myself, but you can use it for free)
Q: What do you call a 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A bloody good start (TM)
I'm getting fed up with people who believe patent wars are helping the industry. They are not. They might incrementally help the patent holders (usually massive rent-seeking corporations) and their lawyer friends but they aren't helping you and me bub.
The "patent" described above could pass for an idea, but is certainly no breakthrough,.
I've heard better ideas developed after a few beers in the pub.
Apple will probably never even develop this "product". They will wait for some other sucker to do it and then sue them.
Sorry mate, but software patents are the worst thing that ever happened to the industry, People should only be able to patent things that exist, not IDEAS. Once the software EXISTS it should protected by COPYRIGHT. Get it ? What in the world went wrong?