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[FYI] The Biz-Method Patent Rush


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The Biz-Method Patent Rush  

Some critics fret as companies seek to dominate Net trade  

By Victoria Slind-Flor  

The National Law Journal  

February 28, 2000  

A patent expected to issue shortly may give a San Francisco-based 
financial services company control over a large chunk of Internet 

A recent NextCard Inc. press release announced that the company has 
received a "notice of allowances" from the Patent Office on an 
application for issuance of online credit. Typically, such notices 
are precursors to patent issuance. The company quickly claimed on its 
Web site that such patents awarded to Internet companies "offer a 12 
to 24 month competitive advantage."  

Meanwhile, a Toronto-based marketing firm has applied for a patent on 
a method of "viral marketing," by which Internet users become 
participants in corporate marketing. The best example is HotMail, an 
e-mail service that grew to 12 million users spending less than 
$500,000 on marketing.  


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