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Wow. Prior art on this particular patent?
I find this particular idea unsettling, very unsettling.
Has all the intellectual *public domain* academic work in understanding the
display and navigation of personal social networks been locked up by one start-
up company? And not becuase they have invented anything novel, but becuase they
successfully consolidated a number of pre-existing features?
The patent is simultaneously very specific and incredibly broad. Specific in
that it describes a specific chain of features, and particular method for
calculating networks. Taken as a whole it implies that noone can copy Friendster
exactly. But interpreted broadly, it suggests that they have the patent for
capturing social networks online. (They however do no define a personal
Can anyone tell me if there is an unambiguous way to enable social network
systems to persist online without infringing on this patent?
Department of Sociology
NetLab, Knowledge Media Design Institute
University of Toronto
Quoting Uldis Bojars <[log in to unmask]>:
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> Friendster has been awarded a patent covering Social Networking [in
> computer systems] on June 27, 2006.
> As reported on:
> The patent itself is here:
> While Friendster was one of the first social networking sites I wonder
> if the processes they have patented are not obvious and have not
> existed in a social environment for ages (introducing people,
> communicating with your contacts, ...).
> What would be your comments?
> [ http://rdfs.org/sioc/ ]
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