Patenting Personalization

When your friend says he would rather be a lawyer than a techie, I won’t be taking it lightly anymore. Amazon finds itself at the other end of the stick for Patent Infringement. Here is the story.

The patents in question, deal with personalization. Specifically, Pinpoint, Inc. claims that the technology of creating interest-profiles based on the histories of the user violates it’s own patents.

Personally, I feel that this case is really fuzzy. As a Master’s student in Data Mining we have always been using the past history of a user to predict his ‘interests’. For example, statistical email filtering techniques. I believe, to a certain extent this infringes on a patent that covers personalized content delivery.

On the other hand, demonstrating prior-art, I feel, is not really sufficient to slay the validity of the patent itself. Slashdot is already carrying the story.