Patent Troll Takes Aim At iDating Industry - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Jonathan Harrison

It seems to me this patent is effectively for what we now describe as an "online marketplace". It appears to describe the invention as a database where potential buyers and sellers connect, to generate "leads". This could apply to any online marketplace: classifieds sites such as Seek, Amazon, eBay, HomeAway, Gum Tree; online dating, where the lead is a romantic interest; Community forums connecting likeminded people who may ; almost any web application you can think of.

This makes it so generic, that it's like patenting the invention of "Putting words on a medium, paper or otherwise, to communicate with other people"!

The only think I don't understand is how it stands up when it's so generic, and how "eHarmony and Match and Date were sued first. They were successful in getting the patent refined and limited. It still stands, they settled for negotiated annual licensing fees" as described by Mark Brookes.

It's describing what has become a foundational hygiene factor of the internet.

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