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IP, Patent

Patented Group Discounts Are Only Logical

Live long and prosper ... by getting $30 of Tibetan food for just $15

The good men and women of Vulcan are but one part of a significant enterprise devoted to bringing various innovations to light, including apparently misunderstood stuff like specific processes for collaborating interests to provide contextually relevant information. Unfortunately, it’s become all too clear that the current mechanisms for licensing inventions is horrifically inefficient.  Couple that with the fact that simpleton journalists prefer to feed the masses by proclaiming that the inventions of others should be free to all, vilifying creators who dare to seek compensation for their creations, and its a miracle anyone even bothers to invest in patentable inventions in the first place.

(Who’ll want to defend it? It’s only a [patent]!)

Courtesy of PriorSmart’s daily litigation alerts, patent owner Kashless unloaded a significant portion of its patent arsenal against Buy With Me and DealOn.  The technology deals with several group buying processes, similar to the type seen in the feud between Groupon and MobGob.

So what’s the connection to Paul Allen and the Interval Licensing suit? Well, a quick glance at assignment history of the Kashless patents, such as 6,934,690 shows an original assignee of Vulcan Portal, Inc.  I thought this name sounded familiar, and sure enough, Vulcan, Inc is one of the investment vehicles used by Allen.  In addition, the address of former owner, Vulcan Portals, 505 FIFTH AVE. S, SUITE 900 in Seattle matches precisely with the address used for Interval Licensing. It’s a pretty safe bet that these Kashless patents are part of Paul Allen’s enterprise.

Vulcan’s website is a barrage of corporate speak about how it intends to “advance[] a variety of world-class endeavors and high impact initiatives that change and improve the way we live, learn, do business and experience the world.” While this may be a rather dramatic way of describing the incremental process of invention, and saving $50 on leg waxing may not necessarily count as “high impact,” remember that it’s exceedingly difficult to predict which advances will have the biggest impacts on the world, but exceedingly easy to deride inventions as “simple” or “obvious” after they’ve become a customary part of our lifestyle.

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