Step 2: Enter the captcha
Step 3: Type 11/696,104 as the "Application Number"
Step 4: Click the "Transaction History" tab
To summarize, the PTO issued a non-final rejection of the patent on 02/07/2009. IBM responded to that on 05/11/2009, which yielded a final rejection on 08/31/2009. IBM then requested to withdraw their response to the non-final rejection (the 05/11/2009 response). On 07/01/2010, IBM filed a new response to the 02/10/2009 non-final rejection, and the PTO issued its second final rejection on 09/13/2010.
IBM then made an amendment to their application, and requested a continued examination (read more about that at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/aipa/rcefaq.jsp). Then, they filed their appeal to the 09/13/2010 final rejection with the Board of Patent Appeals and Interference. The continued examination yielded the most recent non-final rejection, on 06/24/2011. IBM will likely respond in a few months, and there'll likely be another final rejection (the third) issued.
Now, it's still in the hands of the BPAI, which will likely affirm the rejection. After that, IBM can appeal the Board's ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which will most likely side with the PTO.
It seems highly unlikely that IBM will be issued this patent, but if the final rejection is miraculously overturned, prosecution history estoppel will likely preclude IBM from doing anything meaningful with the patent, because as many of you have noted, there's plenty of prior art dated before April 2006.
More than likely, we can all look forward to a final rejection by the examiner sometime around October, at which point IBM will likely appeal to the BPAI once more.
 37 CFR 1.114(d).
I'm divided over this. On one hand, it's a bullshit patent that shouldn't be awarded to them, like all business process patents. So getting the patent would be a pretty bad thing.
On the other hand, it would destroy the entire patent troll industry, especially if IBM used it offensively. That would be a great thing.
It says: We developers are #^¢&ed!
1999 was still the hay days of the internet and merchants weren’t really making the checkout/buy process easy.
The 1-click is a good example of maybe an obvious method being patented rather than ignoring prior art.
If certain Monopolistic practices are directly illegal, what about more laws directed against Regulatory Capture?
Umm, regulatory capture applies to legislatures as well, not just regulatory agencies.
Consider GE. Its $0 tax bill is not due to regulations, but to laws.
Yes, but losses, gains, revenue, and expenses are not necessarily well-defined. (Heck - even whom is incurring those things is also variable.)
And then there's the big problem - the US govt likes to encourage (and discourage) things via the tax code. GE takes advantage of that as well.
If you apply the same rate of taxes to all companies with the same revenue, regardless of their margins you have your choice of putting all low margin business out of business by assessing a tax higher than they can pay (to collect reasonable revenues from the high margin businesses), or leaving a lot of cash on the table in high margin industries (which as a tax authority you probably don't like).
Suppose there are two companies. The first company buys resource A for 100$ to produce B. The second company buys B for 110$ and produces C, which it sells to the public for 120$. A merger of both companies would approximately half their total revenue, but wouldn't change their total profit.
We don't want the tax system to determine the optimal size of a company.
Pick one and see what can be done.
Pick both - we already know what can be done.
If you're going to argue that this time will be different, you need to explain why. Heck, it would be nice if you understand, deeply, how things work now, what's been tried, and so on.
None of the existing problems are easy to solve.
What's the purpose of these patents? Is it just satire or do they actually have legal value for counter suing patent trolls?
Imagine for a moment that you were sued over a product or service another party claims infringes a patent of theirs. Then, you found out that some product they offer actually infringes one of your patents. Now, you're thinking you've got leverage to negotiate a settlement, but the other party refuses all your offers, until you're finally left with no choice to countersue. That's when you find out they actually have the patent on patent trolling! Not only can they sue anyone they like for the slightest whiff of possible infringement, but the defendant can't fight back without actually violating another patent!
Quite the trump card, if you can get it.
To stop other people doing it, would be my guess.
If someone were to patent troll you (other than IBM, I guess) you could say that they were performing a practice that they didn't have the rights to practice. Essentially "hey, only IBM can patent troll me".
#20100082494 tops them all I guess.