It is less fun, now that I'm starting to recognize some of the names on the patents. Seriously did not know that guy went by his middle name and his first name is actually "Tate". Weird. Not sure whether to continue or not. Hmmmm.
Hilarious! Check out this one: patent 6525747 "Method and system for conducting a discussion relating to an item"
He patented electronic fora at the item level (which Amazon implements). Who knew? Probably everyone but me. I wonder if they enforce this one?
ETA: I knew I should have stopped. A patent reminded me of someone I used to work with and I thought, oooh, wonder what he's up to? Died in an accident 10 years ago. Now I'm really sad. He was a really good human being.
ETA still more: Found the patent that underlies the Magic Shelf system over at Kiva. It was originally a Distrobot patent. Who knew?
ETA I really should go sleep. Udi Manber's name is on a patent over at Amazon -- I recognized it from an algorithms text when I was at the UW. "Method and System for Access to Electronic Images of Text Based on User Ownership of Corresponding Physical Text". 7174054
ETA: Any time now. 7433548 Another workflow patent for reflow vs non reflow content and automating whether or not you should have a human look at it.
And here's a look into the scanning and understanding process of getting an ebook out of a pbook: 7460710.
Along those same lines: 7466875
Figuring out which of your customers are early adopters and then paying attention to what they buy and promoting it. 7536322