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Yet he didn't know how to get paid. He eventually found Intellectual Ventures. So we bought those patentsSo we went to talk to Chris Crawford. But that turned out to be harder than we thought - and it led us on a five month journey, where things did not quite fit the story Intellectual Game virtual sex was telling. When we followed up with IV to get Chris Strain neck exercises contact info, the company told us it no longer owned Chris Crawford's game virtual sex. And Crawford probably wouldn't want to talk right now anyway, the company said, because he was in the middle of litigation.

We started digging around and found Chris Crawford in Clearwater, Florida. As predicted, he never responded to our game virtual sex emails and phone calls. You'll never hear game virtual sex him in this story. But we were able to locate Chris's patent - number 5771354.

He got it in 1998. And the way IV explained the patent to us, Chris Crawford invented something game virtual sex we do all the time now: He figured out a way to upgrade the software on your home computer over the Internet. In other words, when you turn on your computer and a little box pops up and says, "Click here to game virtual sex to the newest version of iTunes," that was Chris Crawford's idea. But when we looked at the patent, it seemed to claim a lot more than that.

The name of the actual invention is "an online back-up system. The patent makes it seem like Chris Crawford invented a lot of the most common things we do on the Internet. We weren't sure what to make of all this, so we went to see David Martin, who runs a company called M-Cam.

It's game virtual sex by governments, banks and business to assess patent quality, which the company does with a fancy piece of software. We asked Martin to assess Chris Crawford's patent. At the same time Crawford's patent was being prosecuted, more than 5,000 other patents game virtual sex issued for "the same thing," Martin says. Crawford's patent was game virtual sex "an online backup system.

In 2000, for example, the patent office granted a patent on making toast - patent number 6080436, "Bread Refreshing Method. Mc Leod looked to see if anyone else in the field was already doing the thing Chris Crawford claimed to game virtual sex in 1993, when he first filed his patent.

Here's what he found:There were institutions, both academic and businesses, that used computers in this way, and I think it's a very interesting collection of things that were well known in the 1980s, with game virtual sex exception that it adds the word "Internet. For a long time, the patent office was very reluctant to grant patents for software at all. For decades, the patent office considered software www boehringer ingelheim be like language.

A piece of software was more like a book or an article. Game virtual sex could copyright the code, but you couldn't patent the whole idea.

In the 1990s, the Federal courts stepped in and started chipping away at this interpretation. There game virtual sex a couple big decisions, one in 1994 and another in 1998, which overturned the patent office completely. A flood of software patents followed. A lot of people in Silicon valley wish that had never happened, including a very surprising group: computer programmers. I can't tell game virtual sex for the hell of it what they're actually supposed to do. The company said we have to do a patent on this.

Personally, when I look at them, I'm not proud at all. It's just like mungo mumbo jumbo that nobody understands and makes game virtual sex sense from an engineering standpoint whatsoever.

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