Software Patents on Everything

by on June 9, 2006 · 18 comments

Another day, another absurd software patent: Ars reports that Nintendo has patented the concept of instant messaging in games:

In the claims section, the patent describes a chat system that uses a remotely stored buddy list, supports multiple statuses, broadcasts information about active gaming activities, displays notification of events including the arrival of new e-mail messages, facilitates transmission of player preferences, and enables users to communicate with each other either with voice or text messages. Keep in mind that this patent does not cover game-oriented chat in general; it specifically describes a console gaming chat mechanism that displays game information and uses a buddy list.

Sure, instant messaging and computer games had been around for several years when Nintendo filed for this patent in 2000. But combining them was truly a stroke of genius!

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